In Rochester and across the nation, churches begin the season of prayer and penance in preparation for the Easter season. Saint Monica's Church held a service at midnight.
"Lent is that time when we take time off to get serious about what we believe in and what our faith is all about," Fr. Raymond Fleming said.
Lent lasts six-and-a-half weeks, ending on Easter Sunday. Observances of Lent date back to the fourth century.