Churches Offer "Ashes to Go" for Commuters

Initiative began in Chicago in 2010

By Amanda Bonafiglia
|  Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013  |  Updated 9:26 PM CDT
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People on the go didn't need to miss out on receiving ashes to mark the first day of Lent.

Ministers involved with the nationwide Ashes to Go initiative visited train stations in the Chicago area on Ash Wednesday. Ashes and a short blessing were administered to those waiting for trains and those unable to attend a traditional service.

The initiative began in Chicago in 2010 when three Chicago-area Episcopal congregations took ashes to surrounding train stations and businesses. They were welcomed with enthusiasm from several commuters and decided to invite others to join, according to the Ashes to Go initiative.

Last year, participants expected 500 people throughout the day at certain locations.

In 2011, the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago coordinated Ashes to Go, and more than 25 Episcopal congregations in the Chicago area offered ashes on street corners, train platforms and local businesses.

The initiative became even more popular last year being practiced in more than 80 churches in 21 states, according to Ashes to Go.

Local churches offered services during the morning and evening commutes.

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