Photo Gallery: 2012 Ash Wednesday Ceremonies 11/117

Pope Benedict XVI, at second left in midground, during  a procession with other prelates at the Santa Sabina Basilica for the celebration of the 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)