Actor Mark Wahlberg kicked off the Lenten season by going to church on Ash Wednesday and followed that with a prayer for his 12 million followers on Instagram.
Ash Wednesday is traditionally known as the start of the six weeks of penitence before Easter. Catholic clergy often share with parishioners that the ritual is a reminder to followers that they're made from dust and will one day return to dust.
“It's here, one of my favorite times of the year, Happy Ash Wednesday to everybody,” Wahlberg said in an Instagram video. “Make sure if you're Catholic that you go get your ashes.”
The Boston native then proceeded to pray God’s blessings over his 12 million followers.
“God bless everybody, all religions, all walks of life, lots of prayers going out for everybody,” the “Instant Family” star said.
“Looking forward to Easter coming up soon but God bless you all in this Lent season, God bless you always,” he continued.
Historically, “Lent was a time of repentance, but more and more churches are using Ash Wednesday as a day to reflect on mortality itself," NPR reported.
In Wahlberg’s message, he then revealed that he would most likely take this season to reflect on his faith and take some time off from social media.
“If you don't hear from me it's because I'm trying to spend some extra quiet time,” Wahlberg concluded. “Love you guys.”
In a previous interview with The Christian Post in New York City, Wahlberg explained how important his time with God is. He said he'd rather go to church on a Saturday night than see a Broadway show, and said he likes to start and end each day by reflecting on his faith.
"That's what it's all about. You know, for me, it's just the way I love to start my day, finish my day," Wahlberg told CP, explaining why he decided to go to church instead of buying tickets to a musical when he was in New York City last October.
"I've been very blessed and very fortunate. And it's because of the focus that I put on my faith and on my family that have allowed me to accomplish so many things. Also, with the failure and disappointment and loss, life is not easy," he emphasized.
In a video message posted on Facebook in 2016, Wahlberg talked about how his Christianity serves as an "anchor" for his life.
"My Catholic faith is the anchor that supports everything I do in life. In my daily prayers, I ask for guidance, strength in my vocation as a husband and as a father," said Wahlberg.
"I want you to know my support for your work to foster vocations to the priesthood, because I want my children and future generations to have good priests in their lives, just like I had."