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updated: 3/5/2014 4:28 PM

Commuters receive ashes-to-go at Des Plaines station

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  • Video: Ashes to Go in Des Plaines

  • The Rev. M.E. Eccles of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Des Plaines provides "ashes to go" Wednesday to Ola Arogundade of Wheeling at the Des Plaines Metra train station.

       The Rev. M.E. Eccles of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Des Plaines provides "ashes to go" Wednesday to Ola Arogundade of Wheeling at the Des Plaines Metra train station.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • The Rev. M.E. Eccles of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Des Plaines provides "ashes to go" to John Spaw of Chicago Wednesday at the Des Plaines Metra train station.

       The Rev. M.E. Eccles of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Des Plaines provides "ashes to go" to John Spaw of Chicago Wednesday at the Des Plaines Metra train station.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • The Rev. M.E. Eccles of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Des Plaines provided "ashes to go" Wednesday at the Des Plaines Metra train station.

       The Rev. M.E. Eccles of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Des Plaines provided "ashes to go" Wednesday at the Des Plaines Metra train station.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

Some commuters hustling and bustling to get to their trains in Des Plaines Wednesday morning stopped for a moment to pause and pray, while receiving "ashes to go."

The Rev. M.E. Eccles of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Des Plaines, dressed in her clerical vestments, marked the foreheads of the faithful with ashes -- the Christian tradition on Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter.

Ashes are typically distributed within the confines of a church, but many members of the clergy for the past few years have also been providing ashes at train station platforms throughout the suburbs.

"We offer them at train stations and other places because people's schedules are a little crazy, and sometimes they don't necessarily want to go to church or they feel like they haven't been to church in a long time," Eccles said. "It's something that we offer to bring the church out here, because church isn't just a building, it's a community."

In the past, Eccles distributed ashes at the Arlington Heights Metra station when she was serving at St. Simon's Episcopal Church in Arlington Heights. This year, she decided to come to the Des Plaines station after being recently installed as priest-in-charge at St. Martin's in Des Plaines.

Daily Herald staff photographer Bob Chwedyk contributed to this report.

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