A week from today is Ash Wednesday 2/17th. Did you sign up for Holy Mass and Scripture Services yet? Sign-up at this link https://bit.ly/36BaNK8; share it or this graphic of the schedule with others https://bit.ly/36XcKk7
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, the Vatican and our Diocese have modified how ashes are to be distributed this year.
You will not receive ashes on your forehead. The minister distributing ashes will come through the pews (as we do for communion) and sprinkle ashes (like a pinch of salt) on top of your head.
The customary formula will be said only once, applying it to all in general.
Ashes are blessed and distributed after the homily at either Mass or a Scripture Service.
Thoughts on Ashes Being Place on the Head
From the Desk of the Vicar General of the Diocese of Joliet
Ashes, as a Jewish sign of penitence, were accepted by Christians. They are derived from burning palms from the previous year.
This outward symbol of private or public sorrow, sadness, or penance, is a proof of humility, a remembrance of our mortality, that we are made of dust and will return to dust. The custom of imposing ashes is a symbolic act signifying human mortality and total human dependence on the graciousness and mercy of God.
In the early Christian era ashes were imposed on public penitents, sprinkled on their penitential clothes.
The distribution of ashes gained popularity as many of the penitential practices once reserved for serious public sinners became standard for all the faithful. It was not until 1091, when Pope Urban II ordered the imposition of ashes on the heads of all the faithful, that the reception of ashes became mandatory and the Wednesday preceding the First Sunday of Lent became known as Ash Wednesday. For the full post, read it here https://bit.ly/36XcKk7