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Roman Catholics in Saint Lucia marked the start of the Lenten Season with Ash Wednesday services.

Many avowed followers of the faith attended mass and received the symbolic mark on the forehead with crosses of ashes.

It is a sign of repentance in preparation for lent – the season of fasting and prayer before Easter. The ashes used are gathered after the palm crosses from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are burned.

The commemoration of the 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness calls on Christians to receive graces with their Lord and Savior.

Clergymen say the symbolism of the ceremony is nullified, if the believers do not follow the tenets of the faith.

The local faithful are joining the rest of the world in the annual celebration and the church is urging all Saint Lucians to use the Lenten season as a time for introspection.

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