ALTON - The period of Lent has started for various religions and the kick off is Ash Wednesday, concluding approximately six weeks later before Easter Sunday.
Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox are some who observe the Lenten season.

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Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church’s Rev. Jason Stone said Lent is an important time for the Catholic Church and said the same about Ash Wednesday, marked by his church with multiple Masses this week.

“Ash Wednesday is an outward sorrow for our sins to coincide with an inward sorrow in the form of ashes,” he said. “It is a symbol of sorrow for our sins that goes back to old testament times.”

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Stone said his parish had solid attendance at Masses in the morning, at noon, and at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Father Jeremy Paulin of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton said Ash Wednesday and Lent both are important times and an opportunity to look at your life and hear the Lord call you again and follow Him more closely.

He said there were a variety of Masses at St. Mary’s and he especially enjoys the Mass at the middle school.

“The middle school and most of the elementary students were at church this morning,” he said. “I see that Mass as an important one to pass on the faith and all the beauty, invitations and challenges to little ones.”

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