According to the safety guidelines issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Liturgy, this year’s Ash Wednesday will make use of cotton balls for Catholics that want to have ashes on their foreheads.
Bishop Victor Bendico, the chairperson of the commission, stated that they have come up with ways to follow proper health and safety protocols during the traditional event.
“One way is by sprinkling the ashes on the head of the faithful. For those among the faithful who wish to have the ashes on their forehead, another way is by using cotton balls in applying ashes on their forehead,” Bendico said.
He also added, “Each of the faithful who wants to receive the imposition of ashes approaches the minister. The minister, with the aid of a cotton ball, dipped into the vessel of the blessed ashes, traces the cross on the forehead of the faithful. The minister uses a different cotton ball for each of the faithful.”
For Catholics that are unable to visit the church on Wednesday, the CBCP recommends that if a family member can join the mass, they will be given a small plastic sachet containing blessed ashes which they can share and impose onto their other family members.
“Those who cannot come to church on this day can join the celebration of the Mass of Ash Wednesday on TV and other online means. They then receive the ashes from family members who were able to go to church for the celebration and will bring home ashes for them,” Bendico said.
Roman Catholics all around the world will celebrate Ash Wednesday on Feb. 17, which will officially mark the start of the Lenten Season.
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