Today marks start of Lent

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Robert Cremer and John and Amy Jones enjoy the fellowship at the annual St. Mary’s Pancake supper held each Fat Tuesday. Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of Lent, the most solemn period of the Christian year.

During special services, priests usually place blessed ashes in the form of crosses on individuals’ foreheads to remind them of mortality, sorrow for sins, change and forgiveness.

Generally, Lent is a time of fasting and prayer in preparation for receiving and reaffirming baptism at Easter.

Some Christians choose to “give up” certain food items or give of themselves through service or charity.

Locally, Christians wishing to participate in Ash Wednesday services have several options:

• Christ the King Catholic Church will hold mass at 12:10 p.m.;

• Andalusia First United Methodist Church at 6 p.m.;

• Andalusia First Presbyterian Church at 6 p.m.;

• St. Mary’s Episcopal Church at 5:30 p.m.

But, yesterday was Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday,” the last day for celebrations before the seriousness began, and St. Mary’s Episcopal church celebrated with its traditional pancake supper.