It’s Ash Wednesday today, marking the beginning of Lent for Catholics and Christians around the globe. A local church is offering drive-through ashes this morning from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. Hope United Methodist Church on Caton Farm Road will come to you and bless you with these words, “my Sister in Christ, from dust you came, and to dust you shall return.”


If you missed the drive-through, churches everywhere are having masses today. In Joliet St. Joe’s Ash Wednesday mass will be held at 12:15 on Chicago Street.

Many Catholics will go to church to have a priest smear ashes on their forehead. The ashes symbolize mourning and penance. They also remind Catholics of their mortality. Many Christians give up something tangible for Lent such as liquor or a favorite food. They may also reflect on their lives and decide whether to make changes. They try to purify themselves for Good Friday, which marks Christ’s death on the cross, and for Easter Sunday, which celebrates his resurrection. Christians from other denominations also observe Ash Wednesday