Christians around the world are recognizing Ash Wednesday in 2023 as they prepare for the public worship of Lent which comes six and a half weeks before Easter.
Ash Wednesday dates back as far as the 11th century for Christians, especially Catholics, who receive ashes. The practice has a connection to an ancient Hebrew custom.
In Orange County, California, Chaplain Angela Song is seen reaching for a canister of ashes used to bless caregivers at the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at Providence St. Joseph Hospital.
Chaplain Song places the ashes on the forehead of the receiver, who in this case is breast surgeon Michele Carpenter.
In South America's La Paz, Bolivia a person receives ashes on their forehead during a Mass at the San Francisco Basilica.
In Mexico City parishioners walk out from the the San Ipolito Catholic church with their foreheads marked with ash after attending a service there.