Churches Make Pandemic-Related Tweaks for Ash Wednesday
This week marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, which kicks off with Ash Wednesday. But churches are having to adjust their normal Ash Wednesday traditions due to the pandemic.
Golden Valley‘s Calvary Lutheran Church is one of the larger Lutheran congregations in the Twin Cities. This year for Ash Wednesday, church leaders have decided to skip the ashes altogether as a way to avoid physical touch and abide by social distancing guidelines during the pandemic.
Instead of putting ashes on people’s foreheads, their plan is to use the worship service to focus on the themes of Ash Wednesday such as repentance and mortality.
“We considered a lot of different ideas,” said Zach Thompson, a senior pastor at Calvary. “We connected with churches across the country that are doing all sorts of different things. But in the end, what we decided is we can still focus on the meaning and what Ash Wednesday represents without having to touch anyone.”
Other churches have reported that they will sprinkle ashes on the tops of people’s heads or create take-home ash kits for congregants.