If you see someone today with what looks like dirt on their forehead, chances are it's a cross marked from ash. Today is Ash Wednesday, a Christian holy day of prayer and fasting. It marks the beginning of Lent and comes 46 days before Easter, which falls on April 12 this year.
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The University of Dayton is holding Ash Wednesday mass at 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on campus. The university is also planning a nondenominational Christian worship service with distribution of ashes in the Kennedy Union Ballroom at 5 p.m.
For those in a hurry, some churches-including David's United Church of Christ in Kettering — offer “Ashes-To-Go." Pastors will be in the parking lot from 6-7 p.m., imposing ashes for the ninth year running.
>> Kettering church offers “Ashes to Go”
"We'll meet folk outside in the parking lot, and they don't even have to get out of their cars. We'll impose the ashes with a word of blessing for people as they enter this season of preparation and hope, and then hand them a card with a prayer to use in the days to come. It'll be brief, but we hope helpful," Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Brian Newcomb said in a statement.
The church will hold a traditional service at 7 p.m.
In downtown Dayton, Christ Episcopal Church at 20 W First St. is having Ash Wednesday Services at 7 p.m. as well.
Check area church websites for Ash Wednesday schedules.