PHOTO GALLERY: Ashes indicate beginning of Lenten season

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | 9:05 p.m. CST; updated 11:30 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 22, 2012

COLUMBIA — Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season. Some members of the Christian faith receive ashes on their forehead in anticipation of the 40 days of fasting leading up to Easter.

Moises Sosa and his son Samuel Sosa, 2, receive ashes from Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Wednesday. "For me it means forgiveness, it means returning to God, getting closer to him by helping others," said Moises Sosa.
Emily Harryman, a peer minister with Episcopal Campus Ministry talks with others of the Ashes To Go ministry team at Speaker's Circle at MU. Rather than giving up something for the Lenten season Harryman said she is planning on taking upon herself additional prayer time and eating a raw food diet one day of each week.
Rev. Christina Cobb of Episcopal Campus Ministry passes out ashes for the Ashes To Go ministry at Speakers Circle at MU. The ministry is a joint effort between Episcopal Campus Ministry and Koinonia, a ministry based at Missouri United Methodist Church. "It's a period of preparation for the joys of Easter. In some ways it's like spring cleaning for the soul," Cobb said.
Josefina Beltran leaves Sacred Heart Catholic Church after receiving her ashes on Ash Wednesday. "I'm from Mexico," Beltran said. "It's a tradition and it means very much to us." Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season.
Gerri Wussler, right, clasps her hands in prayer next to her husband Urban Wussler, center, and friend Joe Giacchi, left, during a crowded Ash Wednesday service at St. Thomas More Parish and Newman Center on Wednesday.

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