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.
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.
"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.