Southern Californians take part in Ash Wednesday (Photos)

Ash Wednesday - 1

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Mary Ann Laccabue, a staffer at Our Lady of Grace School, attends 8 a.m. mass for Ash Wednesday at the school's parish in Encino on Feb. 13. The parish offered two morning services, a noon prayer service, and two evening services, including a Spanish-language mass.

Ash Wednesday - 2

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Father Jay Cunnane offers communion to a parishioner during an 8 a.m. Ash Wednesday mass at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Encino. Ash Wednesday - 40 days before Easter - marks the beginning of Lent, the most solemn time on the Christian calendar.

Ash Wednesday - 3

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Parish members shake hands with their neighbors during the "Kiss of Peace" portion of the mass.

Ash Wednesday - 4

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Parishioners pray during an Ash Wednesday service at Our Lady of Grace, a Roman Catholic church in Encino that's part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Ash Wednesday - 5

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Father Jay Cunnane blesses the communion bread and wine a morning mass for Ash Wednesday. Of five services throughout the day, the 8 a.m. service is his parish's most-attended mass on the first day of Lent.

Ash Wednesday - 6

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An altar server leads congregants to the front of the church for communion.

Ash Wednesday - 7

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Christians around the world wear ashes on their foreheads in the shape of a cross during Ash Wednesday. The ashes are meant to symbolize mortality.

Ash Wednesday - 8

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A student of Our Lady of Grace listens during an 8 a.m. mass at his school's parish church.

Ash Wednesday - 9

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Father Jay Cunnane distributes communion to students at Our Lady of Grace School, next door to the church. There will be a 5:30 p.m. service today and a 7:30 p.m. Spanish service at the parish in Encino.


Father Jay Cunnane distributed ashes to hundreds of parish members for Ash Wednesday today during an 8 a.m. mass at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Encino.

This Roman Catholic parish holds five services today, including one at 7:30 p.m. in Spanish. On the Christian calendar Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, lasting 40 days before Easter. Cunnane said the 8 a.m. service is the most-attended mass, before children head to school and adults head to work.

 

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