Photo Gallery: 2012 Ash Wednesday Ceremonies 10/117

Pope Benedict XVI, at center in bacground, leaves in a procession with other prelates at the Santa Sabina Basilica after celebrating  Ash Wednesday prayer service, in Rome, Wednesday Feb. 25, 2009.  Ash Wdnesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. (AP Photo/Vincenzo Pinto, POOL)