Frank Speziale Photo
For Christians the world over, the 40 days of fasting and prayer begins today, Ash Wednesday, with the season of Lent. On this day, church services daub ashes on the forehead of the faithful with a sign of the cross and a quote: "Repent, turn away from sin and believe in the gospel."
Ashes are created from burnt palm leaves of the previous Easter season. Ash Wednesday is the start of the Easter Season which ends this year on April 5, Easter Sunday.
Picture above, Father Ralph Bove and Deacon Tim McNerney blot ashes on parishioners of St. Bartholomew's Church in Norwich.