Churches throughout Sacramento marked the observance of Ash Wednesday with indoor and outdoor services.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, occurring about six weeks before Easter. Ashes are marked on the forehead by a member of the clergy as a sign of penitence or mortality.
The Lenten season is a time of spiritual reflection for Christians, and self-denial is a staple of Lent. Many will make sacrifices such as cutting out chocolate or doing with just one meal a day.
On Ash Wednesday, those who participate have their foreheads marked with ashes in the shape of the cross. Through the years, the ashes used during the Mass were from the burned palm fronds from the previous year’s Palm Sunday Mass. However, more churches are ordering their ashes from religious supply businesses.
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