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updated: 2/13/2018 1:18 PM

Students help prepare for Ash Wednesday

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  • The Rev. Curtis Lambert, pastor of St. Alphonsus Liguori Church in Prospect Heights, tosses palm leaves into a fire Tuesday as students from the parish school look on. The palms were burned to make ashes for Ash Wednesday services.

      The Rev. Curtis Lambert, pastor of St. Alphonsus Liguori Church in Prospect Heights, tosses palm leaves into a fire Tuesday as students from the parish school look on. The palms were burned to make ashes for Ash Wednesday services.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Ryan Cobarrubias-Putz, a third grade student at St. Alphonsus Liguori School in Prospect Heights, finds a cross made out of palm leaves Tuesday as he and fellow students burned leaves to make ashes for Ash Wednesday services.

      Ryan Cobarrubias-Putz, a third grade student at St. Alphonsus Liguori School in Prospect Heights, finds a cross made out of palm leaves Tuesday as he and fellow students burned leaves to make ashes for Ash Wednesday services.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Rich Miceli, facility manager at St. Alphonsus Liguori Church in Prospect Heights, tosses palm leaves into a fire Tuesday as students from the parish school look on.

      Rich Miceli, facility manager at St. Alphonsus Liguori Church in Prospect Heights, tosses palm leaves into a fire Tuesday as students from the parish school look on.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

Before they and thousands of fellow Christians across the suburbs partake in Ash Wednesday services, students from St. Alphonsus Liguori School in Prospect Heights joined their church's pastor Tuesday to make the ashes used in the yearly ritual.

Using a re-purposed charcoal grill, the Rev. Curtis Lambert tossed palm leaves blessed on Palm Sunday last year into a fire as students gathered around him.

The ashes -symbolizing penance, mourning and mortality -- will be blessed and then applied to the foreheads of believers during services Wednesday as an outward expression of their faith. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent for Christians, a solemn 40-day period leading up to Easter.

Similar palm burning events took place at schools across the suburbs Monday and Tuesday, including St. Thomas of Villanova School and St. Theresa School in Palatine, St. Gilbert School in Grayslake and St. Bede School in Ingleside.

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