A new look on Ash Wednesday
With the menace of COVID in mind, the Catholic Church went back to ancient traditions to celebrate Ash Wednesday.
Instead of having the ashes placed by thumb on the forehead, parishioners attending Ash Wednesday Mass this year were sprinkled on the head with ash.
Archbishop Christopher Prowse said that we shouldn’t get too caught up with how the ashes are received.
“It doesn’t really matter the expression of it, it’s what happens in your heart that matters,” he said.
“Over the centuries there have been various ways in which people can give visible testimony to the fact that they are moving into the penitential season of Lent on the way to Easter.
“With the guidance of the Vatican we used the ancient tradition of sprinkling some ash on the head of the person, which is a very beautiful way of doing the same thing that we would normally do.”
The sprinkling of ashes dates back to the fourth century when public penitents dressed in sackcloth and were sprinkled with ashes to show their repentance.
“The sprinkling of the earth on the head goes back to the Old Testament, although our ashes come from the burnt palms used on Palm Sunday last year,” Archbishop Christopher said.