Mass RSVP - Ash Wednesday Masses and Services - February 17, 2021
Ash Wednesday Guidelines
Due to the pandemic, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments at the Vatican, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have provided the following guidelines for the Distribution of Ashes.
- After the homily, the priest will bless the ashes with holy water and then address the congregation as a whole – he can choose to say “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.
- The priest will then put on his face mask, sanitize his hands and distribute ashes – the ashes will be “sprinkled” on the top of the head, with no words said.
- Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may still assist in the distribution of ashes.
- The imposition of ashes is not mandatory – it is a traditional exterior sign of our interior conversion. It is the interior spirit in which we enter the holy season of Lent that is most important.
- Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation; it is a day of fasting – meaning that one should not eat more than the equivalent of one full meal on that day.
As the Eucharist is not able to be distributed to the homebound or those in nursing facilities at this time, we will not be able to give ashes for these same populations. Thank you for your continued patience during this challenging time. May this Lent be a time of uniting ourselves more closely to Christ; may we take the challenges given to us by the pandemic to more prayerfully focus on our inner conversion so that we may more joyfully proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.