'Ashes to go' with a side of ice cream as a local church spreads - WDRB 41 Louisville News

'Ashes to go' with a side of ice cream as a local church spreads blessings

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Cathedral of the Assumption is open. With a blessing and a smudge of ashes to form a cross on their foreheads, people lined up for Ash Wednesday masses.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church also had its traditional Ash Wednesday service. It was a small turnout on this cold day, but people braved the weather and the roads to get here.

"It's the day that starts our Lenten season, and the entire Lenten season is a very important time for us as Christians," said parishioner Bill Beam. "I'm ready to get started on my repentance and what I'm going to give up for Lent."

But some people are not giving up sweets. For the third year in a row, St. Thomas Episcopal gave out "Ashes to go." At Comfy Cow in Westport Village, a steady number of people waited for their ashes with a side of ice cream.

Lisa Russell lined up for "Ashes to go" and says, "I always get ashes on Ash Wednesday, and with the churches being shut, my daughter told me the Comfy Cow was doing it." With a broken foot, she came out to get her ashes.

"This year, we have made up a sheet with some prayers that people can take home and say with their families or themselves," said Anne Vouga of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. "We did not have that before, so adding on to it a little bit."

Valerie Chinn asked 14-year-old Robbie Deweese, "What do you think? No school, but ice cream and ashes?"

"It's great," Deweese said. "It's what every kid wants."

The church says this is another way to get out into the community. It also gave out ashes at a local grocery store and made stops to people who are home-bound.

With the popularity, the church is planning to do this again next year.

At the end of Lent on Palm Sunday, March 29, St. Thomas Episcopal will bring church into the community again with "Palms for the People." It's a simple procession in the Westport Road Kroger parking lot which is across the road from the church. Blessed palm crosses will be offered.

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