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LENT, the most important season on the Christian calendar, begins this week with Ash Wednesday.

As part of the nationwide Ashes to Go movement that has clergy and lay people visiting transit stops, street corners, coffee shops, and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by for Ash Wednesday, ashes will be offered at over 25 locations around the state of New Jersey this Wednesday.

- St. Mary's in Tuxedo Episcopal Church will take Ash Wednesday to the streets on Wednesday, March 1.

"It's about meeting people where they are", Fr Paddy Mooney told the newspaper.

David's United Church of Christ will hold a traditional Ash Wednesday service inside at 7 p.m.

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"We talk about Christmas and Easter as certainly being the most sacred and most attended events during the year, but Ash Wednesday is not even a day of obligation".

Despite what the weather and forecast bring, Cramer said he enjoys hearing everyone's stories.

Nearly half of adult Catholics, 45 percent, typically receive ashes - made from the burned and blessed palms of the previous year's Palm Sunday - at Ash Wednesday services, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Anyone can go to the church's parking lot, receive their ashes and be on their way.

It marks the start of a 40-day period which is an allusion to the separation of Jesus in the desert to fast and pray.

Ash Wednesday is "not just about death but also the possibility of hope and resurrection and new life for us", he said.


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