President Donald Trump recognized Ash Wednesday in a statement from the White House.
“Melania and I wish everyone observing Ash Wednesday a peaceful and prayerful day,” the statement read.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the penitential season of Lent. Observers of Ash Wednesday receive ashes marked on their forehead in the form of a cross.
“This powerful and sacred tradition reminds us of our shared mortality, Christ’s saving love, and the need to repent and accept the Gospel more fully,” Trump wrote.
Christians in Lent spend 40 days fasting, praying and doing charitable works before celebrating Easter, which in 2020 is observed on April 12.
“We join in prayer with everyone observing this holy day and wish you a prayerful Lenten journey,” Trump wrote. “May you grow closer to God in your faith during this blessed season.”