Christians around the world and the Quad Cities today observed Ash Wednesday in an untraditional way because of the pandemic.
The holiday marks the start of lent, the 40 days of sacrifice ends with Easter.
Father Jason Bowden of Saint Mark’s Anglican Church in Silvis said he wanted to find a safe way to celebrate Ash Wednesday.
“We had to put our heads together and kinda figure how is this going to work because we want to maintain our traditions within our church but we are also mindful of keeping people safe,” said Bowden.
Finally they found a way that would be COVID-19 friendly.
“We will allow people to chose whether they accept the ashes on their forehead by my gloved hand or they can chose to have it sprinkled on the crown of their head,” said Bowden.
Father Rudolph T. Juarez from Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Davenport said they received guidelines from the Diocese of Davenport.
“We were given guidelines as to how we could proceed so that under the circumstances we can do as we’ve always done to inicite the time of lent,” said Juarez. “Different situation because of the pandemc instead of what we would normally have done using our thumb to mark people’s forhead with ashes we are using these cotton tips.”
Peter Marty is the pastor at Saint Paul Lutheran Church held a drive through for people who wanted to receive the ashes.
“People get to be in the warmth of their car they roll their car window down, hundreds of cars have come by so it’s a joy to connect with people a nice public service,” said Marty. “We’re out here just serving the public little ashes cross on the hand so that we don’t have to be too close to people’s faces.”
The churches also hold their services online.