Jacqui Hunter of Silver Spring, Md., stopped at the parking lot of Glenmont United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, Md., to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday on March 1, 2017. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Photo Gallery: Christians receive ashes in a variety of ways

(RNS) Many Christians found a way to observe Ash Wednesday (March 1) in spite of busy schedules. Some churches accommodate parishioners' hectic schedules by distributing ashes in ways other than at traditional services. RNS found people seeking ashes in church, in parking lots and in coffee shops. Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the period of penance and fasting preceding Easter.