Crowd packs Raleigh cathedral for Ash Wednesday service - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Crowd packs Raleigh cathedral for Ash Wednesday service

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A standing-room only crowd packed into the Sacred HeartCathedral in downtown Raleigh at a local Catholic service for Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent, which comesbefore Easter. Christians consider Lent a key time of reflection andself-examination, and it's often a time when many give up treats likechocolate.

Many Christians mark Ash Wednesday by having dust put on their forehead in the shapeof a cross, a reminder that their time on Earth is limited.

"It's asking for forgiveness during the Lenten seasonand doing good things and God's work," Josephine Bowell said.

"It's more of a sacrificial time for getting ready forthe Lenten period in Christianity," Jaime Vega said. "Obviously, giving up somethings as we assume that posture of sacrifice."

Vega said she will give up drinking and going out to eatduring Lent.

"It's going to be tough but I am going to put away thebeers," she said.

Alicia Adcock also called it "a joyous time" in that it's atime for Christians to "become the person that god created us to be and to bethe best version of ourselves."

"Lent is about more than just losing weight. We need todo more as far as making sacrifices and getting ourselves prepared for eternallife," she said.

Robert Jankowski said he would try to be more appreciativeof what he has "by defying myself a little stuff."

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