OSSINING, NY (WCBS 880) – Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of prayer observed by Christians.

WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi reports from Ossining

Under a grey sky, parishioners walked slowly and solemnly into Saint Augustine’s Chuch in Ossining.

EXTRA: No Meat, No Problem! Best Veggie Sandwiches in NYC

While waiting for the ashes to be applied to her forehead, Caroline explained what Ash Wednesday means to her.

“It’s my devotion. It’s my love of God and his teachings and his understanding of what our faith really means,” Caroline told WCBS 880 reporter Catherine Cioffi.

“It’s renewal of life again. You know, going back to your faith. It’s kind of ashes to ashes, dust to dust, taking one day at a time,” said a parishioner named Eileen.

Deacon Steven DeMartino says that this time of year is for reflection “…on our brokenness. A time for us to better understand what it means to be believers and how we are to act on our faith.”

“We ask ourselves, ‘Do we really have a strong faith?’ and if not, then we’re asked to rededicate ourselves to prayer and reflection so that we can deepen our faith,” says DeMartino.

Watch & Listen LIVE