Observing religious traditions has been difficult due to COVID-19, but Santuario de San Antonio Parish in Makati has come up with an ingenious way to help parishioners observe Ash Wednesday at home.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the usual application of blessed ashes in the shape of a cross on the foreheads of the faithful has been postponed. To limit contact with others and avoid the spread of the coronavirus, the parish is making take-home Ash Wednesday packs so that the faithful can safely impose the ashes on themselves at home.
One packet is good for a family of five and are available for those who are physically unable to attend mass. The instructions on the packet read “Sprinkle the ashes on the head and say ‘Repent and believe in the gospel.’”
According to Santuario de San Antonio, these ash packets will be available for pick up at the lobby guard for those unable to attend the Ash Wednesday Mass on Feb. 17.
At the onset of the pandemic last year, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has recommended that the blessed ashes be delivered via “sprinkling on the crown of the head” instead of the usual cross on the forehead. This year, the same procedure will be followed due to the ongoing pandemic.