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The Congregation for Divine Worship releases a note laying out the procedures priests around the world are to follow for the distribution of ashes at the start of Lent.
By Vatican News
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.”
My dear brothers and sisters of John Paul II Mission. As most of you know by now, I was recently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This Sunday I complete the minimum of ten-days quarantine, but due to some symptoms persisting and getting worse I have elected to continue quarantine for additional time.
At this parish, it has been custom to receive Communion in the tongue or the hand, at the discretion of the communicant. For the seven months, since coming to Gainesville I have honored that desire for our communicates. However, since we have had a surge in cases and I myself have contracted the virus, despite using precautions, I am mandating immediately that all those who receive Communion at St. John Paul II receive in the hand until such time as the current pandemic has passed.
John Paul II tells us that just as the paralytic extended his hands to receive the saving power of Jesus, so we extend our hands in order to receive the precious Body of Christ for its healing power. The proper way to receive in the hand is to place one hand in another and extend towards the minister of communion. Once you receive the host, please communicate with one hand or the other and replace your mask.
I know this may disappoint some people, but for the safety and protection of our clergy, extraordinary ministers and all those who receive, we find this necessary at this time. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS!
May we pray together as we receive the Lord’s Body in our hands that we see our hands as the manger of the Body of Christ.