St. Louis Church Wants to Give You Drive-Through Ashes for Ash Wednesday


If you don't have time for an Ash Wednesday mass today, a St. Louis church has you covered — this year, once again, you can get your ashes from a drive-through window.

Manchester United Methodist Church (129 Woods Mills Road, Manchester; 636-394-7506) is calling its offer "Ash & Dash," and they're promising that three pastors will be on hand to offer drive-through ashes during three convenient time slots today. From 7 to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., the church will offer ashes, a blessing, or even a prayer to anyone who chooses to stop by a satellite location they've opened up just for the occasion.

This is the second year the local Methodists are offering the option; last year, the church says it ashed up more than 300 people.

Also worth noting: While the Ash & Dash site at 14380 Manchester Road was presumably chosen for its easy ingress and egress, we still can't help but notice that it's next to a business called St. Louis Cremation. How better to remember the holiday's reminder that to dust we will all return?

And while you might well see this option as a sign of imminent apocalypse, the pastors over at Manchester United Methodist take a more philosophical view.

“Ash & Dash is free and meets people where they are,” said Rev. Jim Peich, the church's pastor of faith formation, in a press release. “It provides an opportunity for folks on-the-go to experience Ash Wednesday and be reminded of how much they are loved by God.” And what could be so terrible about that?

In its release, the church notes that it also offers a traditional Ash Wednesday service at its real home on Woods Mills Road at 6:30 p.m. — this one offering not just a drive-by ashing, but also a time of quiet reflection.

But if you don't have time for that, the church helpfully notes that it's made the whole drive-through experience super easy for you. Just look for the signs saying "Ash & Dash." See the church's website for more details. Or maybe just whatever reflection time you have this morning to ponder the nature of a rush-rush-rush society that demands even God be convenient.

Editor's Note: This post was updated after publication to clarify the event's location. It was then updated one year later to include 2019 details.

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