PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you ask most people when they go to church, the answer is normally Sunday.

However, many American Christians will be in church on this Ash Wednesday.

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In Mount Lebanon, one church is allowing people to observe the holy day without actually going to the church.

Ash Wednesday, and the sign of the cross on the forehead, is a solemn reminder for millions of Christians and the start of Lent.

Michelle Boomgaard of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon is part of an effort called Ashes To Go.

“One of the things we need to talk about is how many people don’t go to church anymore at all. So, even the idea of ashes and what are the ashes about is an important thing and a different thing,” Boomgaard said.

Many churches observe Ash Wednesday and it’s not just Catholics or Episcopalians.

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Some are simply too busy to stop. Others welcome the moment to paused and pray with the pastor.

“I’ve given ashes; I’ve given prayers. There have been people who have received those and thanked me and have been very moved by it,” Boomgaard said.

We know about the ashes. What is the “more” in ashes and more?

“On Wednesdays throughout Lent, I am going to be holding office hours at a local coffee shop with the idea to invite people into conversation with is a deeper experience of Lent for me,” Boomgaard said.

Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season and for the next 40 days, they’ll be thinking about Holy week, which of course, caps off with Easter.


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