Across the Baltimore region, Catholics and other Christians marked the start of Lent by celebrating Ash Wednesday at local churches.
Ash Wednesday is meant to be a solemn reminder of human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God. It marks the beginning of the penitential Lenten season and is commonly observed by the rubbing of ashes on the foreheads of worshippers in the sign of the cross, as well as fasting. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, occurring 6 1/2 weeks before Easter.
President Joe Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, marked Ash Wednesday with a private mass in an improvised chapel next to his hotel room in Warsaw, Poland, the New York Times reported.
“Today, I join Christians worldwide in observing Ash Wednesday,” the president said on Twitter. “The Lenten season is a time for reflection and discernment and an opportunity to recommit ourselves to God and to one another. May we continue to keep the faith and look with hopeful hearts towards Easter.”
Here are some scenes from a service at St. Francis Xavier Church in Baltimore.