New Yorkers celebrate Ash Wednesday

Residents from across the five boroughs attended their local churches for the holiday, which marks the first day of Lent.

Valerie Ryan and Adolfo Carrion

Feb 14, 2024, 10:21 PM

Updated 150 days ago

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Not only is Wednesday Valentine’s Day, it’s also the Christian holiday of Ash Wednesday.
Residents from across the five boroughs attended their local churches for the holiday, which marks the first day of Lent – a 40-day period of prayer, penance and fasting for some.
Father David Powers greeted Christians in the Bronx for Ash Wednesday at St. Helena’s Roman Catholic Church, marking churchgoers with the ash cross on their foreheads.
“The ash represents that we are acknowledging ourselves as being sinners. The cross means that there is our savior Jesus who died for us to save us,” said Powers. “You would be amazed at the number of non-Catholics who will actually come here… there is just something about that idea that I’m making a public commitment to God that I want to be a better person.”
Father Powers says that for those who choose to give something up or those who choose to give back, the goal is to better one’s self.


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