The Bible consistently warns Christians to not engage in pagan superstitious rituals, especially the type that requires fasting from foods or behaviors that God doesn’t condemn (1 Timothy 4:1-5). But that doesn’t stop Romanists from superstitiously dabbing themselves with ashes at the beginning of Lent to signal their self-righteousness before the world.
The “imposition of the ashes” as it was once called, originated with Nordic pagan religion and was a religious practice designed to celebrate the god, Odin. Another name for Odin is Ygg, which means “ash.”
The tradition is also drawn from Vedic Indian Religion, in which ashes were believed to be the seed of the fire god, Agni. This deity was said to have the authority to forgive sins.
In Romanist tradition, the ashes are said to represent humility and contriteness (but worn upon the head have the opposite effect).
But what if pagans are in a hurry to get their head dashed with ashes? What if you’re in a hurry to show how humble you are before God?
Well, St. David’s Episcopal Church in Southfield, Michigan, with throw some ashes on your head as you drive through the church parking lot. You can never be in too big a hurry to participate in pagan myths, right?
Its rector, Chris Yaw, said, “
“Episcopal churches have been doing what they call ‘ashes on the go’ for a long time. So we made up some signs, we put a half-mile down the road one way, half a mile down the road the other way, ‘drive-thru ashes a half-mile ahead.’”
It’s actually a fund-raising stunt. The church raised $800 offering ashes to the forehead last year. It is unknown how much of that sweet, sweet pagan cash was raised this year by people who instead should have received the Gospel.