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Deacon Maniuel Ramirez, left assists as father Miguiel Guzman prepares the host during morning mass for Ash Wednesday at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Denver, Colo., on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and occurs forty-six days before Easter. Worshippers are blessed with ashes by the celebrating priest or minister. Black ashes in the shape of a cross are made on the forehead of worshippers and remains, traditionally, until it is washed off at sundown. Ashes are prepared by burning palm leaves from the previous year's Palm Sunday celebrations. (CHRIS SCHNEIDER/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS) **

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