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Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Lent (5:30 a.m.)

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BATON ROUGE- Many Christians are heading to mass today to celebrate the beginning of Lent. Churches throughout the capital area will be holding Ash Wednesday services all day long.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season. During the holy day, it's tradition for Christians to receive an ashen cross on their forehead from a priest.

"All the parades are over, all of the doubloons have been thrown and now it's time for us to enter into these 40 days of self-examination," Father Cleo Milano told News 2's Ambria Washington on 2une In.  

In Catholic teachings, the use of ashes dates back to Old Testament times.

"It's a sign of our own mortality and mindfulness that 'I am one day going to appear before the judgement see of God,'" said Milano.

During Lent, many Christians will give something up for serve in the community to show their devotion to God. Lent lasts for 40 days and ends on Easter.

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