There will be an Ash Wednesday service this evening at 6:00 pm. The service is a wonderful way to begin the Lenten season.
Lent is a time of particularly careful reflection and reformation. We engage more intensely in prayer, fasting and alms-giving. Traditionally one fasts on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. There is a wide range of definitions of fasting, so the observation of the fast is left to your prayerful discernment.
The Fridays of Lent are traditionally days of abstinence from meat.
It is also a common practice to choose some penitential practice, such as abstaining from something pleasurable, during the season of Lent. There has also been a movement toward taking something on during Lent: additional time for prayer and scripture reading, alms-giving, or other laudable practices. Again, this observation is left to your prayerful discernment.
Just as a suggestion, I share with you this list of some interesting things one can give up during Lent that may make a more lasting impression. After all, the goal of Lent is prayerful reflection on one’s life and making course changes (repentance) so that one may more effectively follow Christ. The image also links to a blog entry that explain these things and where you can sign up for an e-mail devotional or order the reflection book.