Christians around the world recognize Ash Wednesday as start of Lenten season

(WXYZ) - Wednesday kicks off the solemn Lenten season for millions of Christians around the world.

Ash Wednesday begins the 40 day period leading up to Easter Sunday.

It is named for the tradition of placing ashes on the forehead in the shape of a cross as a sign of mourning and repentance to God.

During the Lenten season Christians abstain from using certain luxuries as a sign of penitence.

Some metro Detroit Churches are giving parishioners a quick way to receive ashes on their forehead.

Holy Faith Church in Saline and Novi's United Methodist Church are just two of the places offering a drive-thru option Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday comes as Pope Benedict XVI announced he was resigning on Monday. Earlier Wednesday, he marked the start of Lent by presiding over mass at St. Peter's Basilica.

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