Today is considered to be the first day of lent leading to the Sunday of Resurrection commonly known as Easter Sunday. For many Christians today marks the beginning of the 40 day liturgical period of prayer and fasting and abstinence.
It is traditional that each year at Masses and services of worship on this day, ashes are imposed on the foreheads of the faithful. The priest, minister, or in some cases officiating layperson, marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes in the sign of the cross, which the worshipper traditionally retains until it wears off.
It’s a celebration and reminder of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered from the burning of the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday.
Here in the Orange Walk and Corozal municipalities, as a custom all students of Anglican School and Catholic school and members of the community that are willing, ashes are placed on their forehead as a sign of remembrance of the Lenten season.
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