Ashes to be Sprinkled for Ash Wednesday

Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship Modifies Guidance for Ash Wednesday to Protect All During COVID-19 Pandemic

The health situation caused by Covid-19 continues to forces changes on daily life, which are also reflected in the Church’s sphere.

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

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.”

Saint John the Evangelist will be following this guidance for Ash Wednesday on February 17, 2021. When our Parish Family comes to the altar to receive ashes, they will be sprinkled on the top of the head, rather than being made into a cross on the forehead. This is actually a standard way ashes are distributed in Europe, so many people will recognize it and appreciate the cultural and spiritual connection during this challenging time. Ash Sprinkling will be accomplished at the end of Mass.

Ash Wednesday Mass Times

Communion and Ashes to be Distributed Outside for Those At Risk

In an effort to serve as much of our Parish Family during this Pandemic, the clergy and staff of Saint John the Evangelist have determined that we will provide both Communion and Ashes to the Faithful who are at risk and should not enter the church during Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021.  Father Tom and others will provide the Sacrament and the sprinkling of ashes (please see our story on the Vatican procedure for Ashes during the Pandemic: at the Homeless Jesus Statue after the 12 PM Noon Mass completes (so they should be starting around 1:15 PM).

Parish Family members wishing to partake of this opportunity will be asked to drive their vehicle and Communion/Ashes will be administered while they remain inside it. Please reference this map on how to drive around campus to reach the Homeless Jesus Statue (star on map) properly and then exit.

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