Commuters have a long day traveling along bus or train, so parishioners from a local church brought the ashes to them this Ash Wednesday.
A handful of proselytes from St. James Episcopal Church and the Reverends Audrey Hasselbrook and John Perris greeted commuters during the morning twilight while they waited for the train at the Upper Montclair train station and bus stop near Bellevue Avenue.
"We recognize that some people are kind of rushed on Ash Wednesday," said Perris, "and we also recognize that some people are reluctant to come within a church ... and so we thought we would come to them with a few ashes and prayers ...."
The reaction was mixed from commuters, said Perris, but he added the people who did request ashes were "appreciative of the opportunity."
Perris, who is also the rector of the church, said this is the first year St. James Church has offered ashes to commuters at the start of Lent.