As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has ravaged the entire world, the Congregation for Divine Worship has released a note outlining how priests around the world are to distribute ashes at the start of Lent this Year on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021.

Vatican News reports that “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 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.”


This means that the usual method of placing ashes on the forhead of the faithful will not take place this year.

May God continue to keep us safe, as we watch and pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, Amen.