SAN ANGELO, Texas (KLST/KSAN) — Ash Wednesday, which is observed by many Catholics and Protestants, marks the beginning of six weeks of Lent.

Many in the Concho Valley started their day attending services while some congregations provided ashes on the go throughout the day. The ashes symbolize death and repentance while the day comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting.

“The ashes are an opportunity to show that you’re penitent,” said Brenda Church, a Reverend at First Christian Church & Grace Presbyterian Chapel. “That you are giving a part of your life for God to take over.”

Several downtown Catholic and Methodist churches will be hosting ceremonies this evening.