LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Southland Christians will mark the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday.

Lent is the 40-day season prior to Easter where the faithful do penance for sins and seek spiritual renewal.

On Ash Wednesday, a priest marks the forehead of parishioners with black ashes in the shape of a cross. The ashes are traditionally worn for the day and washed off after sundown.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose Gomez will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at noon in English at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Mass will be also celebrated in English at 7 a.m., 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.

For this Lent, Gomez is asking Catholics to reflect more deeply on the Beatitudes, the eight “blessings” Jesus proposed at the start of his Sermon on the Mount.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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