Ash Wednesday Marks Start Of 40-Day Season Of Lent

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Churches across the Southland are celebrating Ash Wednesday, ushering in the 40-day season of Lent, when Christians prepare for Easter by doing penance for sins and seeking spiritual renewal through prayer, discipline and good works.

Ash Wednesday gets its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful as a sign of penance. A minister or priest marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes in the shape of a cross.

Catholics observe Ash Wednesday by fasting, abstaining from meat and repenting. Other Christian denominations make fasting optional, with the main focus being on repentance.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose H. Gomez will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at noon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The Mass will be streamed live on Facebook.

Mass will be also celebrated at the cathedral in English at 6:15, 7 and 8 a.m. and 5:15 p.m., and at 7 p.m. in Spanish. A bilingual Liturgy of the Word will be celebrated at 3 p.m.

Ashes will be distributed during all services. There is a flat $9 parking fee at the cathedral Wednesday.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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