Ash Wednesday Observed Around the World as Lent Begins

Ash Wednesday Observed Around the World as Lent Begins

Ash Wednesday Observed Around the World as Lent Begins

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Feb. 22 2012 5:18 PM

Ash Wednesday Observed Around the World as Lent Begins

Hopefully everyone got their fill of gluttony and revelry during Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday  because today’s observance of Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and a 40-day period of penance, prayer, and self-denial for Christians around the world. 
 
Christian faithful are getting down with penance, from a Mass in Rome’s Basilica of St. Sabina presided over by Pope Benedict, to a Methodist church in Cincinnati offering drive-thru blessings to on-the-go parishioners.
 
A moveable fast occurring annually 46 days before Easter, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of a 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting meant to symbolically correspond with the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and fighting temptation by Satan. Modern observers place ash crosses on their heads to signify repentance, as well as attempting to forego various vices and indulgences.