MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

At least a half dozen churches in the Madison area are marking the first day of Lent by meeting the faithful on the streets.

Pastors plan to hit some of the busier intersections and streets Wednesday to offer drive-through Lenten ashes. Motorists don't even have to get out of their vehicles to have their foreheads smudged.

Five Madison-area Episcopal churches and Monona United Methodist Church are participating in the "ashes to go" program. St. Andrew's Pastor Andy Jones tells the State Journal they need to bring the church to the world, not just to those who walk through the church doors.

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Lenten season for Christians. Marking a cross of ashes to the forehead is a long held tradition.