Vancouver church offers drive-thru Ash Wednesday blessings this week

Feb 22 2023, 12:23 am

Modern convenience meets traditional religious practices in Vancouver this week where one church is offering drive-thru Ash Wednesday blessings – all you have to do is honk.

The drive-thru Ash Wednesday event at Canadian Memorial United Church is happening on February 22, 2023.

Rev. Beth Hayward told Daily Hive that for their faith, Ash Wednesday marks the start of a six-week journey to Easter.

“When we place ashes on the foreheads of others, we don’t make any distinctions, we lift up the truth that every one of us is dust and to dust we all return,” said Rev. Hayward, who has led the church for over a decade.

ash wednesday

Canadian Memorial United Church

“It’s not meant to make us feel shame or sadness but instead to focus our attention on the gift of our lives. Certainly, we all die, but before that, we are given this beautiful invitation to live,” said Rev. Hayward.

On Wednesday, you can drive up, ride a bike, and honk or yell for ashes. A minister will come out with palm ash and draw a cross on your head or hand while the minister reads scripture and prays, “You are dust and you shall return to dust.”

The drive-thru is a convenient, COVID-19-friendly way for folks to observe Ash Wednesday, participating in the tradition without having to physically attend a church service. Everyone is welcome to participate.

“Lent is a time to recommit ourselves to living the best lives we can. Ash Wednesday reminds us to focus not on what we accomplish but on how we live our precious lives,” said Rev. Hayward.

Drive-Thru Ash Wednesday Blessings

Where: Canadian Memorial Centre for Peace parking lot, 1825 West 16th Avenue, Vancouver
When: Wednesday, February 22 from 8 am to 5 pm

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