Ash Wednesday falls on February 22 this year.
This day marks the beginning of the season of Lent and is observed by the Christian community as a season to reflect on the purpose and death of Jesus and on their own shortcomings and make reparation.
Special services are being held in Mylapore zone churches both in the morning and evening: at the service, the priest smears ashes on the foreheads of people in the shape of a cross to signify that man is dust and to dust he shall return.
These ashes are obtained by burning palms used on Palm Sunday of the previous year.
The season of Lent is for 40 days and is observed with prayer, fasting, penance, repentance and acts of charity.
Some people give up eating non vegetarian food and some shun entertainment and lavish side of life.
All local churches will also hold the Way of the Cross service every week – in English and in Tamizh.
– Report by Juliana Sridhar