Ash Wednesday welcomes Lent season in Samoa
Catholics in Samoa joined millions of Catholic faithful followers around the world to mark Ash Wednesday.
Special masses were held across the country to mark the occasion.
At the Catholic Cathedral at Mulivai, several masses were held.
They were to open the Lent, a season of fasting and prayer.
Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga conducted the mass.
Ash is a day of fasting, and is the first day of Lent in Western Christianity. It occurs 46 days (40 fasting days) before Easter and can fall as early as February 4 or as late as March 10.
According to Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga, the ashes symbolise the dust from which God used to create mankind.
“As the priest applies the ashes to your forehead, he speaks the words:
"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
"Repent, and believe in the Gospel.
“In other words, Ashes are ceremonially placed on the heads of Christians on Ash Wednesday, either by being sprinkled over their heads or, more often by being marked on their foreheads as a visible cross.
“It is more like preparing yourself and sacrifice everything for the Easter Day.
“It is also observed by fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance – a day of contemplating one's transgressions.