Last updateFri, 26 Feb 2021 12pm

Ash Wednesday rituals modified for Covid

Ahead of the beginning of Lent, on Wednesday, February 17, the Roman Catholic Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has published a note detailing how priests are to distribute ashes on Ash Wednesday.

After blessing the ashes and sprinkling them with holy water in silence, the priest addresses those present, reciting once the formula found in the Roman Missal: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”


At that point, the note continues, the priest “cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask, and distributes ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places.”

He then sprinkles the ashes on each person’s head “without saying anything.”

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