WESTERN NEW YORK -- Christians around the world are receiving the sign of the cross in ashes on their foreheads Wednesday in celebration of Ash Wednesday. The day marks the beginning of the Easter season. But not everyone can make it to church on Ash Wednesday. So, the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York is trying something new this year, ashes on the go.
"Many people haven't been in a church for a long time so we thought why not bring the church to the people," said Bishop William Franklin of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York.
Bishop Franklin was outside of the Allen/Medical Campus Metro Station in Buffalo giving out ashes early Wednesday morning. It was one of about 10 locations in Western New York distributing ashes not in a church.
Lorraine Hapeman of Niagara Falls took advantage of the opportunity to get her ashes outside a Metro Rail station.
"This is really amazing to be able to just come here when you have a busy day, a busy schedule and you can't get to church. This is amazing that you can come and do this," Hapeman said.
Ashes on the Go started in Chicago a few years ago, but this was the first year Western New York's Episcopal Church joined in.
Tonawanda native George Czapko said it's a way to connect to God, but while on the run.
"The world has made it to busy for people to get to church on a regular basis, especially during the week. I think this is a good idea to offer this to people as they walk in their regular daily lives," Czapko said.
Bishop Franklin said it's also a way to reach out to the community.
"We and our church want to think of ways that we can connect to the people directly in new ways but by using our old traditional forms," Bishop Franklin said.
For a list of times and locations, go to www.episcopalwny.org.