Some Acadiana residents take part in Ash Wednesday

For some, Wednesday was just the day after Mardi Gras, but for Christians around the world, today marks the start of the Lenten season which is also known as Ash Wednesday.

Roman Catholics and members of several other Christian faiths observed Ash Wednesday be receiving ashes on their forehead in the shape of a cross. The longtime tradition symbolizes humility and repenting of sins.

It also marks the beginning of the Lenten Season that lasts for 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday. The season is usually coupled with a 40 day sacrifice.

“Most people give something up,” said Lauren Montesano, a Lafayette resident.  “But you can also do something extra special like more giving.”

Christians are encouraged to make sacrifices or do things to improve their relationship with God. Although Ash Wedneday is not considered a holy day of obligation, all roman catholics are encouraged to attend mass on this day to observe the first day of Lent.

“I was amazed,” said Brian Blanchard, a Lafayette resident. “I thought in the middle of the day like this, it would affect how many people would be here, but you can hardly stand up inside.”

Blanchard attended mass with his two kids at St. John Cathedral Downtown. He says the church was packed to capacity showing that all is not lost in the world.

“Sometimes you read and see things on the news on a regular basis that aren’t real wonderful,” said Blanchard. “So to see something like this is real heart warming. It makes you feel like we’ve got a chance.”



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