Salem First Christian Church offered a unique take on traditional Ash Wednesday services, offering a quick drive-through version of the service.

Passing drivers could turn into the parking lot of the church, at 685 Marion St. NE, to get information about Ash Wednesday, a card to return with prayer requests, an imposition of ashes on their forehead and a blessing.

"It's the first time we've ever done this," said Pastor Bob Hanna. "It's just an opportunity for people to learn a little what Ash Wednesday is about."

Hanna said it only takes three or four minutes for each car to pass through. The drive-through service is especially targeted at people who might feel a little intimidated about going into church.

"It's for those who have never done it before, and also maybe there are those who had some exposure at some time and remember something," Hanna said. "We thought we'd make it easier by going outside to them."

Ash Wednesday signifies the start of Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday. It's traditional for participants to have ashes rubbed on the forehead to symbolize repentance and as a reminder of mortality.

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