Christian commuters celebrate Ash Wednesday with 'Ashes to Go' at Irvington train station
Ash Wednesday is one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar, marking the start of Lent, a time of repentance and reflection for Christians.
Those observing receive ashes in the sign of a cross on their forehead and make a sacrifice for Lent, which will be observed until Easter. The ashes, which symbolize both death and repentance, come from the palms that are burned from the previous year's Palm Sunday.
Not everyone was able to make it to traditional church services on Ash Wednesday, so the "Ashes to Go" movement was born in the last decade.
Clergy members offered ashes in public places, from train stations to street corners. The Rev. Gareth Evans, rector at the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Irvington, started his "Ashes To Go" program at the Irvington train station a few years ago to help people who may not have time for church observe the holy day.
"Just joining in with Christians across the world and finding creative ways to be the church and to share God's blessings with the world," says Rev. Blaine Crawford, of the Irvington Presbyterian Church.
Dozens of early morning commuters at the Irvington train station stopped for a quick blessing before rushing to catch the train.