You may notice a lot of people with crosses on their foreheads today.
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lenten Season…a time in the church of penitence. Father Pius of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Zanesville says there is always fasting before feasting.
"Lent is 40 days, give or take a few Sundays, and this year it’s just about the latest it can be, one day short, and it won’t be this late again for another couple hundred years. So a very late lent this year. It is a season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving," said Father Pius.
Father Pius says this period marks the time of preparation for the great feast of Easter, and starts with the sign of ashes. The sign of ashes reminds Catholics that they are on this world for a temporary period before they go to heaven.
"A lot of Catholics during lent give up something extra for lent with a special penitence, give up pizza, or television, or those who are truly hearty, giving up facebook for lent. You can give up something for lent, especially if its something that costs money, like your morning latte, you can take the money that you would otherwise spend on that, don’t spend it on yourself but spend it on those who are less fortunate," said Father Pius.
Father Pius says giving up something is not required by the church. Instead, it is a personal devotion and extra sacrifice that people can choose to make. However, fasting is an obligation where you are not allowed to eat meat during the two fast days, which are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, as well as, no eating meat on all the Fridays of Lenten Season.