February 9, 2021 | 00h00
MANILA, Philippines – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) allows families to burn their own palms and smear the ashes between them on Ash Wednesday February 17.
In a circular circulated to clergy and religious, the apostolic administrator of RCAM, the Bishop of Manila, Broderick Pabillo, said that the Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese had prepared the family celebration of the burning of palm trees or leaves in ashes and the “Family Ash Wednesday Celebration at Home” for dissemination to parishioners.
“For those who will not be able to come to the church for the celebration of Ash Wednesday, we offer the liturgical celebrations of the burning of palm trees or dried leaves to ashes and the liturgy of Ash Wednesday for families at home “, he added.
For parishes that cannot find old palm branches for this year’s Ash Wednesday, CAMR has said burning dried leaves of plants or trees may be an alternative.
The Congregation for Divine Worship also explained the amended guidelines for Ash Wednesday during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike before where the priest said to every penitent “Repent and believe in the gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to the dust you will return”, for this year the priest would only say so. only once and that would be applicable to all penitents present.
The priest then cleans his hands, puts on a face mask and distributes the ashes to those who come to him or, if necessary, to those who stand in their place. The priest would then take the ashes and sprinkle them on each person’s forehead without saying anything.
Last year, instead of imposing ashes in the shape of a traditional cross on the foreheads of penitents, the ashes were sprinkled on the top of the head, in accordance with sanitary rules.