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The Rev. Travis Wilson of Peace Lutheran Church, right, spreads ashes in the sign of a cross on Arlene Campbell’s forehead Wednesday morning, while the Rev. Jeffrey Dick of First Congregational Church says prayers as part of Ashes to Go. The two ministers offered the brief Ash Wednesday observance for people who can’t fit the more traditional, longer Ash Wednesday services into their schedule.

SOUTH HAVEN — Christians throughout Southwest Michigan observe the start of the Lenten season each year by going to church and taking part in Ash Wednesday services.

Over the years, though, pastors have found that not everyone can take an hour out of their work day to attend the service and receive ashes on their forehead to symbolize the 40-day Lenten season of fasting and prayer that leads to the celebration of Easter.