Today is Ash Wednesday, where millions will celebrate the start of Lent with a visit to the church where a priest will place a cross on visitor’s foreheads with ash. The mark is supposed to remain on the foreheads for the remainder of the day. Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, a 40-day fast where followers give up a single indulgent item.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, and repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial.
There are traditionally forty days in Lent which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance.
However, in modern times, observers give up an action of theirs considered to be a vice, add something that is considered to be able to bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.
Some folks are giving up Facebook, chocolate, pastas and breads others are cutting down on their carbon emissions.
Are you giving something up?