Galway's popular Ash Wednesday drive-thru makes it to CNN
Galway's Ash Wednesday drive-thru service was such a big hit that it made the headlines in the US.
Queues of drivers during the busy morning rush hour waited to receive ceremonial ashes on their foreheads in Glenamaddy, Co Galway on Wedesday.
Parish priest Father Paddy Mooney said the church opened the drive-through blessing to help families who were unable to attend Mass.
It targeted the sick, those with difficulty walking, people on their way to work or families enroute to school. A driveway led right past the front door of the church as hundreds of people queued up to receive their ashes.
The novel idea was the talking point on Twitter yesterday and was eventually picked up by major US news site CNN.
"Pressed for time on Ash Wednesday? There's a 'drive-thru' church for that?" the headline read.
Parish secretary Breda Keaveney said yesterday's drive-thru blessings was a huge success.
"It was just so reverent and so respectful. There was just a wonderful atmosphere."
Ms Keaveney said there were also two Masses for people to receive ashes.
She said: "We were trying to reach people on the go and for some reason not able to attend Mass.
"We are very, very pleased."
Parishioners will review the event to consider whether to repeat it in future years.