Parishes burn palms in preparation for Ash Wednesday
St. Thomas of Villanova in Palatine was among dozens of suburban parishes to burn palms Tuesday in preparation for Ash Wednesday.
Students at the adjacent Catholic school joined the Rev. Tom Rzepiela as he oversaw the annual ritual, which was pushed back a day due to high winds on Monday. The parish will hold four Masses and a prayer service Wednesday.
Worshippers observing the first day of Lent, or the period of penance leading up to Easter, receive a cross of ashes on their forehead. Ashes typically are gathered by burning palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday.
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