JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Amidst a pandemic and a winter storm that dropped several inches of snow on Northeast Arkansas, several churches have abandoned their typical Ash Wednesday services in lieu of online services designed to keep their congregants safe at home.
Father Alphonse Gollapalli at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 1101 E. Highland Dr. in Jonesboro, announced on social media Tuesday that all church activities were suspended until Saturday, Feb. 20.
He encouraged church members to observe Ash Wednesday “with fasting, prayer, and abstaining from meats.”
Ashes will be distributed during the weekend masses.
Instead of canceling or postponing Ash Wednesday services, Paragould First United Methodist Church, 404 W. Main, said Monday it would likely host a virtual-only worship.
St. Paul Catholic Church, 1002 Convent St. in Pocahontas, said Tuesday it planned to livestream Ash Wednesday mass from the rectory, just as it did during the early days of the pandemic.
Pastor Sarah Ellzey with Trumann First United Methodist Church, 220 N. Pine, said it was “pretty certain” they would not have an Ash Wednesday service, but said she would record and post a video and a program so that members could follow along with the readings.
“In lieu of ashes from Palm Sunday last year, have a candle nearby to use throughout the service,” she said. “Having physical tools for worship helps us better understand spiritual truths.”
If your church is celebrating Ash Wednesday a little differently, let us know by sending us a direct message on Facebook.