THOUSANDS of Catholics yesterday attended services around the country to mark Ash Wednesday the first day of the Lentern period preceding Easter.
Lent a 40-day fast in which the faithful are called to engage in prayers, almsgiving and fasting occurs as they prepare for Easter.
Father Tavite Naiveli reminded his congregation of the importance of self discipline during lent at the Sacred Heart Cathedral yesterday.
"We have to change our hearts and prepare ourselves," Fr Naiveli said.
"Our greatest weapon in the next 40 days is our self discipline.
"We need to let go of our personal interests, give up the things that are provocative in our lives and abstain from it."
Worshippers had their foreheads marked with the sign of the cross using ashes from burnt palms from Palm Sunday of the previous year.