(KFSM) — Today is Ash Wednesday, marking one of the holiest times of the year for the Christian faithful.
People nationwide will be walking into churches and holy centers throughout the day to receive their ashes. The ashes are placed on the forehead in the sign of the cross.
For those not familiar with Ash Wednesday, it is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. The holiday is typically observed by Western Christians, including Catholics, Methodists, Baptists and Lutherans, though it is celebrated worldwide.
The ashes are made from burned palm branches that have been blessed during a previous Palm Sunday service.
Several local churches will be holding special services for Ash Wednesday. At St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Rogers, several mass services and other service times are planned throughout the day.
They'll begin with an English Mass at 8 a.m. today, followed by a bilingual word and ash service at 12:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.
Tonight, another English Mass will be held at 5:30 p.m., followed by a Spanish Mass at 7:30 p.m.
In Fort Smith, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church also has several services planned, including English Mass at 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. this morning.
Check the service times for your local church online for Ash Wednesday services.