ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent for Christians everywhere, and the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the day is observed.
Parishioners of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Rochester received their ashes on Wednesday morning without even getting out of their cars. Parish staff braved the cold and applied ashes with a cotton swab in a drive-thru event.
Parish leaders said Lent is perfect time to return to faith.
"God is always there," Pastoral Associate Roxane Chlachula said. "He's always there beside us, walking with us, whether or not we're conscious of that. Lent is the perfect time to return to the church, to spend more time in prayer. It's a time to take the opportunity to reconcile."
The ashes symbolize penance. They are a way for Christians to publicly
express their faith as they begin the season of Lent.