As the Catholic Church celebrates Ash Wednesday today to start the Lenten season, the marking of crosses on the foreheads is now allowed on the celebration.
Based on the guidelines issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Liturgy (CBCP-ECL) dated February 22 but was only made public on Saturday, priests will again swipe ashes on the foreheads of churchgoers in the sign of the cross.
“The formula for the imposition of ashes ‘Repent, and believe in the Gospel,’ or ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return’ is said only once applying it to all in general. We will revert to the imposition of ashes on the forehead of the faithful,” said part of the statement which was signed by the Commission’s chairperson, Bishop Victor Bendico.
It added that the sprinkling of ashes on the head, which was the practice amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, will be an option.
At the same time, the Church assured that they will continue to strictly implement health protocols during church events in the observance of Lent.
Just like how the Ash Wednesday tradition in the province went for the past years, Capalonga’s Poong Nazareno will be at Holy Trinity Cathedral at 11:30 AM and there will be a mass at 12:30 in the noontime.
At 3 o’clock in the afternoon, there will be a concelebrated mass to be followed by Daan ng Krus at Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Meanwhile, after all of these Poong Nazareno will visit some parochial churches and its last destination will be at the municipality of Labo wherein it will stay overnight before it goes back to Capalonga.
Furthermore, according to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Arnel Francisco, wearing face masks and practicing social distancing should be strictly implemented in the celebration. There would be also no problem if the Catholic church will hold a procession but the church has to make sure that they are following minimum health standards.