The tradition of Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the Christian period of Lent, a time of reflection, fasting, and prayer lasting 40 days.
Ash is placed on the foreheads of worshippers, in the sign of a cross.
Words are recited based on Genesis 3:19:
‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.’
Image courtesy http://dphx.org/event/ash-wednesday/