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Ash Wednesday is on the horizon

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In this 2017 photo, the Rev. Mark Story, rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, burns palm leaves for Ash Wdnesday for students attending the weekly chapel service at St. Mary's Episcopal School in Edmond. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman Archives]
In this 2017 photo, the Rev. Mark Story, rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, burns palm leaves for Ash Wdnesday for students attending the weekly chapel service at St. Mary's Episcopal School in Edmond. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman Archives]

Many of Oklahoma's faithful are expected to observe Ash Wednesday, March 6, which marks the first day of the Christian season of Lent.The ritual of the imposition of ashes traditionally takes place during Ash Wednesday services at many houses of worship.

Ashes from palm branches are placed on the forehead of congregants in the sign of the cross as part of this ritual. The ashes are christened with holy water and they symbolize penance and contrition.The words "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return" remind believers of their mortality — that they are on Earth for a short time.

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