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Christians observe Ash Wednesday as start of 40-day season of Lent

During Lent, which continues through April 14, believers set aside time for reflection on Christ's life, ministry, sacrifice and resurrection.

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Betsey McIntyre receives ashes in the shape of a cross from Pastor Kirk Meseck at Calvary Lutheran Church while her son, William, looks on during a drive-thru Ash Wednesday observance March 2 in the parking lot of the Grand Forks church. Ash Wednesday is the first day of the 40-day Lenten season, a time for fasting, repenting and reflecting on mortality in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — Christians around the world observed the beginning of the Lenten season Wednesday, March 2, in church services as well as nontraditional means that meet the need of those who are wary of large gatherings during the pandemic.

The Drive-Thru Communion and Ashes event, for example, was provided early Wednesday morning at Calvary Lutheran Church. It is the second time this option was available for congregants on Ash Wednesday, because of the pandemic.

During Lent, which continues through April 14, believers set aside time for reflection on Christ's life, ministry, sacrifice and resurrection.

The name, Ash Wednesday, comes from early traditions in the Christian Church in Rome, when penitents and sinners would partake in a penance, were sprinkled with ashes and dressed in sackcloth until they were reconciled with church-goers on Maundy Thursday.

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Calvary Lutheran Church pastors Ivy Schulz, left, and Kirk Meseck, right, are photographed with Vicki Kroetsch during a drive-thru Ash Wednesday observance early Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40-day Lenten season, which represents Christ's time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. The season focuses the Christian's heart on repentance and prayer, usually through personal and communal confession.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Related Topics: CHURCH NEWS
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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