Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for Christians around the world. Lent is the traditional period of penance and self reflection.
Ash Wednesday is observed with services in which the faithful are marked with an ashen cross on the forehead.
The season of Lent ends with Holy Week, beginning Palm Sunday and culminating with Good Friday and Easter.
Locally, at Our Lady of Mercy R.C. Church, ashes will be distributed at noon and 7:30 p.m. Mass. There is a prayer service at 4 p.m.
At St. Pius X R.C. Church, ashes will be distributed at 12:15 p.m. Mass, a 4 p.m. prayer service and a Mass at 7:30 p.m.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will hold a 7:30 p.m. Holy Communion service with the Imposition of Ashes.
The Episcopal Church of St. Margaret has scheduled Ash Wednesday services for noon and 7:30 p.m.