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updated: 2/13/2013 2:47 PM

Suburban Christians mark Ash Wednesday in churches and train stations

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  • Video: Ash Wednesday in Palatine

  • Video: Ash Wednesday in Geneva

  • Video: Ash Wednesday in Glen Ellyn

  • Kristin Progar of Glen Ellyn receives ashes from Charisse Jensen, a seminary intern with Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, during Ashes to Go at the Glen Ellyn train station on Wednesday. Michael Progar, left, awaits his turn.

       Kristin Progar of Glen Ellyn receives ashes from Charisse Jensen, a seminary intern with Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, during Ashes to Go at the Glen Ellyn train station on Wednesday. Michael Progar, left, awaits his turn.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • The Rev. Manny Borg of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Elk Grove Village disperses ashes to a commuter at the Cary Metra Station to mark Ash Wednesday.

       The Rev. Manny Borg of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Elk Grove Village disperses ashes to a commuter at the Cary Metra Station to mark Ash Wednesday.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • The Rev. Manny Borg of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Elk Grove Village disperses ashes to Kelly McGuigan of Lake in the Hills as she starts her commute at the Cary Metra Station Wednesday.

       The Rev. Manny Borg of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Elk Grove Village disperses ashes to Kelly McGuigan of Lake in the Hills as she starts her commute at the Cary Metra Station Wednesday.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • The Rev. Terry Keehan of Holy Family Catholic Community Church in Inverness gives Roman Golash of Palatine ashes for Ash Wednesday inside the Palatine train station.

       The Rev. Terry Keehan of Holy Family Catholic Community Church in Inverness gives Roman Golash of Palatine ashes for Ash Wednesday inside the Palatine train station.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • The Rev. Patti Snickenberger, from St. Lawrence Episcopal Church in Libertyville, places ashes on the forehead of commuter Pat Vavrina, of Ingleside, on Ash Wednesday at the Libertyville Metra Station as part of the "Ashes To Go" program.

       The Rev. Patti Snickenberger, from St. Lawrence Episcopal Church in Libertyville, places ashes on the forehead of commuter Pat Vavrina, of Ingleside, on Ash Wednesday at the Libertyville Metra Station as part of the "Ashes To Go" program.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Deacon Liz Meade of St. Charles Episcopal Church administers ashes to a commuter headed to her train at the Geneva Metra station Wednesday morning. The church has been doing Ashes To Go at the site for the past three years.

       Deacon Liz Meade of St. Charles Episcopal Church administers ashes to a commuter headed to her train at the Geneva Metra station Wednesday morning. The church has been doing Ashes To Go at the site for the past three years.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Sean Cunningham, 8, left, and his sister Erin, 11, both of Arlington Heights volunteered to help the Rev. Terry Keehan of Holy Family Catholic Community Church in Inverness give commuters ashes for Ash Wednesday at the Palatine train station.

       Sean Cunningham, 8, left, and his sister Erin, 11, both of Arlington Heights volunteered to help the Rev. Terry Keehan of Holy Family Catholic Community Church in Inverness give commuters ashes for Ash Wednesday at the Palatine train station.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

Clergy from churches across the suburbs helped commuters mark the beginning of Lent on Wednesday by taking the imposition of ashes outside church walls and onto Metra platforms.

The "Ashes to Go" movement got its start in this area in 2009 and 2010. Last year it was offered in 21 states and this year residents of London and Cape Town, South Africa, are said to be participating for the first time.

The Rev. Emily Mellott, pastor of Calvary Episcopal Church in Lombard, is credited with giving the program its name and creating a website to keep it organized.

Clergy members were at train stations on Ash Wednesday in many area towns, including Arlington Heights, Palatine, Glen Ellyn, Cary, Libertyville, Lombard, Geneva and Villa Park.

Elsewhere, many other congregations marked Ash Wednesday with more traditional services in church buildings.

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