As we live our lives, we know too well that even though we do not like changes, or to break our habits we are forced to do so many times. With the COVID-19 Pandemic we have been forced so often to make many changes and break our habits. The Pandemic has affected our daily lives as well as our liturgical celebrations and sacramental life. With the Lenten Season upon us, we are going to experience another change on Ash Wednesday as you come to receive ashes. Here is a summary of the new procedure as presented by Fr. Michael Balash:
"On January 12th, Archbishop Blair, Chair of the Bishop's Committee on Divine Worship issued a memorandum regarding the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021. The Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has modified the method of distributing ashes for this year only in light of the pandemic. In summary, the note states: The priest only needs to say the formula "Repent and believe in the Gospel" or "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return" once for all present. The note then states "...the priest takes the ashes and sprinkles them on the head of each person without saying anything." The change minimizes the necessity of physical contact between the minister and recipient and remove the need to speak in close proximity. The "sprinkling" of ashes on the head of the recipient will be new to our practice but it is widespread and common in many other countries.
As we are preparing for Lent we are collecting old palms and you can place them in the basket located in the gathering area. If you plan to attend Ash Wednesday service, here is our schedule:
Mass with distribution of Ashes: 6:30 AM, 8:30 AM (SCHOOL ONLY), 7:00 PM.
Prayer service with distribution of Ashes: 12:00 Noon and 5:00 PM
Have a blessed week,
Father Martin Celuch