“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The Rev. Robert Pace recited those words as he marked ashes on Trinity Episcopal Church guests’ foreheads on Feb. 22.

Pace and the mass attendees practiced the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, a rite that marks the beginning of Lent, a season observed in some Christian denominations in which practitioners fast and pray for penitence.

“Lent comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word that actually just means ‘spring.’ I love that because spring is a season of renewal, so Lent as a church season is the season of renewal,” Pace said. “This is kind of like the master reset button. So Ash Wednesday is that huge reset button that we say, ‘Oh, let’s pause. Let’s pause in this crazy world and remember that we’re mortal.’” 

Christian denominations that practice Ash Wednesday or Lent:

  • Lutheran
  • Presbyterian
  • Roman Catholic
  • Anglican/Episcopal
  • Methodist

Source: Britannica and Learn Religions

The season of Lent lasts 40 days, not including Sundays, and signifies a period of self-reflection and the betterment of one’s self, Pace said.

“During Lent, part of the tradition is either giving things up or adding things,” Pace said. “A lot of our parishioners, for instance, will give up sweets or alcohol. I’m going to give up a variety of things during this for the purpose of helping me remember I am mortal.”

Lent ends with the celebration of Easter, or the day Jesus Christ was said to have been resurrected, Pace said. 

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSotoCommunity Engagement Journalist

Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...