I was talking to a friend of mine a couple days ago who said she couldn't count the number of people who came up to her and tried to run the "smudge" of dirt off her forehead.  She was kind of laughing about it because she had to stop them and say, "No, it's there because it's Ash Wednesday, you know Lent!"  By the way, Ash Wednesday gets its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically ashes that have been gathered after the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned.

Fish is often served on Friday nights during Lent as a restaurant special and by church auxiliaries.  Oftentimes, a menu offering might even be "all you can eat" and occasionally family style.  Usually there will be dine in and take out too.  Traditionally though, it was a time where the church family could come together as one.

But Lent is more than fish fries!  I know, we forget that sometimes don't we!  Lent is a penance of sorts, for the believer.  It is a time of prayer, repenting, forgiveness and self denial.  It also marks the death and resurrection of  Jesus.  Although it is supposed to be a time of self denial some of those fish fry plates tend to be heaping and overflowing with food that is reminiscent of biblical stories of gluttony.