In honor of Ash Wednesday, St. George's Episcopal Church is bringing "Ashes to Go" to the Virginia Square Metro station for morning and evening commuters.
The church, which is about a block away, will have a presence at the Metro plaza at about 8:15 a.m., just after its morning service, and about 5 p.m., in advance of its evening service.
Ashes will be offered to all who wish to receive them, according to a news release. Lenten devotional books also will be handed out to anyone who would like one.
It's the first time the church has tried this, said the Rev. Sharon Sykes Williams, rector of St. George's Episcopal. The practice began in the Chicago area.
Williams said to her knowledge, St. George's is the first church in the area to try this.
"When I saw this, I thought, 'What a great idea.' Rather than waiting for people to come to us, we go to them… just to help people see that church can be relevant in their lives," Williams said.
"The ashes remind us of our mortality and our need for God."
Lent, the 40 days of preparation for Easter, begins today.
"We put the ashes on people's forehead and say, 'Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return,' because in one of the biblical accounts of creation it talks about God breathing life into the dirt to create human beings," Williams said. "So, it's an allusion to that."