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Ash Wednesday: Ashes Will Be 'Sprinkled' Instead Of Making Cross On Forehead
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano
  • Predominantly Catholic Philippines will start the observance of Lent today, February 17, 2021, with masses, fasting, and the sprinkling of ash on the faithful's foreheads.

    On Ash Wednesday, Catholics 14 to 17 years old are to abstain from eating meat while those 18 to 59 must both abstain from meat and fast — eat just one full meal that day, said Father Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral.

    "Hindi lang po pagsasakrispisyo ang Kwaresma, damihan din naatin pagagwa natin ng mabuti, pagdamay at pagtulong sa ating kapwa," Malicdem said at the end of his morning livestream mass.

    Ash Wednesday mass schedule

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, masses will be limited, and crosses will not be anointed on foreheads to minimize contact. If you're planning to attend physically, here are some churches offering masses and how the tradition will be carried out during the pandemic.

    Quiapo Church

    For Quiapo Church, a total of 11 masses will be held during Ash Wednesday. Here is the schedule for the rest of the day:

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    • 12:15 p.m.
    • 3 p.m.
    • 4:15 p.m.
    • 5:30 p.m.
    • 6:45 p.m.
    • 8 p.m.
    Go to @quiapochurch on Facebook for updates or on YouTube for the live mass

    Manila Cathedral

    The Manila Cathedral meanwhile has three mass schedules lined up for Ash Wednesday:

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    • 12:10 p.m.
    • 5:30 p.m.

    Go to @themanilacathedral on Facebook the live mass.

    How will ashes be distributed?

    According to The Vatican's guide to the distribution of ashes, the priest may distribute the ashes to everyone present during the mass, not necessarily to every person as accustomed during pre-pandemic times.

    Instead of mixing ashes with oil and anointing every person with a cross on the forehead, the ashes may be sprinkled on each individual's head.

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    "The priest then cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask and distributes the ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places. The Priest takes the ashes and sprinkles them on the head of each one without saying anything," the Vatican's note said.

    This story originally appeared on Reportr.World. Minor edits have been made by SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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