Ash Wednesday in the time of coronavirus: Ash to be sprinkled on top of head
MANILA, Philippines — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has recommended the sprinkling of ash on top of the head, instead of the usual imposition on foreheads on Ash Wednesday as a precaution against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
CBCP President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles issued guidelines for the upcoming Holy Week activities “following the World Health Organization (WHO) precautions in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19.”
“On Ash Wednesday, during the Imposition of Ashes, ashes can be imposed on the faithful by dropping or sprinkling a small portion of blessed ash on the crown of the head of the faithful with the prescribed formula,” Valles said in a circular released Thursday.
Valles said this is not an “innovation,” but in accord with the Church’s practice.
“In Baptism, we have been anointed on the crown of the head. The ashes to be imposed on the crown signify our repentance from sin, which has marred the grace of Baptism,” Valles explained.
Valles also reminded the public to “refrain from kissing or touching the cross of veneration” during the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday.
“Instead, the faithful are requested to genuflect or make a profound bow as they venerate the Cross,” Valles said.
Catholics will observe Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent season, on February 26.
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