North country Christians observe Ash Wednesday

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 2:09 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - It’s Ash Wednesday, a Christian tradition that dates back centuries.

It marks the start of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting, penance, and prayer leading up to Easter.

Reverend Andrew Long with the First Presbyterian Church in Watertown burned and blessed palms from last year’s Palm Sunday.

The ashes will be smudged in the form of a cross on people’s foreheads during the 7 p.m. Ash Wednesday service.

Rev. Long says it’s a day about mortality.

“It’s about recognizing that all of us have a certain number of days here on Earth, and we have a choice each day of how we’re going to spend them. Ash Wednesday reminds us to be cognizant of that, and to choose each day to live especially in love,” he said.

Easter is on April 9.