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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Ashes and ice cream? On Wednesday, Comfy Cow became a one-stop shop. People could get ice cream and a blessing for Ash Wednesday.
Getting ashes on your forehead is routine on Ash Wednesday. But how about getting "Ashes to Go" at an ice cream shop?
Reverent Anne Vouga with St. Thomas Episcopal Church said, "A lot of times, people will go to commuter places. If you are in New York City, you'd go to a subway station or something out where the people are."
St. Thomas Episcopal Church members got the idea from the Internet: giving ashes to go in communities nationwide. But this year, they decided to sweeten the deal by giving ashes at Comfy Cow in Westport Village with the owners' permission.
Seminarian Robin Garr said, "When we think about Lent the old fashioned way, we think of what we did as kids, giving up candy, giving up ice cream. Tim and Roy were very generous in agreeing to let us come here, but I did promise Tim that we would not preach give up ice cream."
Even a 3-month-old received ashes for the first time today in the ice cream shop. Others lined up for a blessing and to take some ashes home. Gail Iwaniak says, "My mother is 80. She can't get around. She is on oxygen and couldn't get out of the house to go, so I called the church to see if I could get some and take back in a little cup for her."
Local church members also went to a Kroger to give out ashes. Turnout was low overall, but it's a new concept that some were surprised to see.
Garr said, "Kind of what Lent is about is to remember we are dust-to-dust. We will return, and depending on your theology...to me that means spending a little time thinking about what we can do to help other people on Earth because that is what the Gospel is really about."
The ashes used came from the burnt palms from last year's Palm Sunday.