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Ash Wednesday

Christians around the world observing the Western calendar mark the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday observances.

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Sean D. Elliot/The Day | Buy Photo

St. James Episcopal Church layperson Grace Barnum administers ashes to Erica Richardson, as fellow layperson Ron Steed stands-by in front of Union Station in New London Wednesday, February 13, 2013 . This is the first time St. James has brought the tradition to the streets. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent in the western Christian calendar.

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Sean D. Elliot/The Day | Buy Photo

Father Tomasz Albrecht, front, and Monsignor Anthony S. Rosaforte distribute ashes onto the foreheads of students from St. Patrick's School Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent in the western Christian calendar.

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Sean D. Elliot/The Day | Buy Photo

Father Tomasz Albrecht, front, and Monsignor Anthony S. Rosaforte distribute ashes onto the foreheads of students from St. Patrick's School Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent in the western Christian calendar.

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Sean D. Elliot/The Day | Buy Photo

St. James Episcopal Church layperson Ron Steed distributes ashes to a passer-by in front of Union Station in New London Wednesday, February 13, 2013 . This is the first time St. James has brought the tradition to the streets. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent in the western Christian calendar.

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Sean D. Elliot/The Day | Buy Photo

St. James Episcopal Church layperson Ron Steed distributes ashes to a U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st class Tadd Martin in front of Union Station in New London Wednesday, February 13, 2013 . This is the first time St. James has brought the tradition to the streets. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent in the western Christian calendar.

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Sean D. Elliot/The Day | Buy Photo

St. James Episcopal Church layperson Ron Steed holds a jar of ashes and informational literature as he and fellow layperson Grace Barnum, not pictured, distribute ashes to passers-by in front of Union Station in New London Wednesday, February 13, 2013 . This is the first time St. James has brought the tradition to the streets. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent in the western Christian calendar.