Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent in the Roman Catholic church.
Traditionally Catholics choose something to give up, sacrifice or forgo from Ash Wednesday until Easter.
The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of the times of the Old Testament. Christians who had committed sins performed public penance. They were to wear 'hair shirts' for 40 days beginning on Ash Wednesday and their local bishop sprinkled ashes over them.
Then and today, the ashes were made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year.
At in East Northport, there will be Ash Wednesday services with ashes at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
At on Main Street in Northport, there will be a prayer service with ashes at 4:30p.m. and a mass with ashes at 7:30p.m.
Lent will end on Easter Sunday, April 24th.