Ash Wednesday at home

Lent cross + return to the LordAsh Wednesday, the doorway into our Lenten season of renewal, will be observed a little differently in 2021. Due to social distancing and the need to limit contact to combat the spread of Covid-19, receiving ashes in church is going to be difficult, and some of our practice and observance this year will be in our homes.
Ash Wednesday is a day rich in associations and symbolism. It marks the beginning of Lent – a time for turning again to the practice of our faith, in prayer, self-denial (fasting) and practical generosity (almsgiving).

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of our Bishops’ Conference, has circulated his Pastoral Letter for the start of the season of Lent. in which he suggests that we consider celebrating Ash Wednesday at home.
He urges us to be careful and cooperative in the measures we must take, to protect ourselves and to protect others. “I want to emphasise an important point. Receiving ashes is an outward sign of an inner step, a movement of the heart towards our beloved Lord. This year I invite you to concentrate much more on this inner, spiritual movement than on its outward manifestation in the imposition of ashes.

My suggestion is this: celebrate Ash Wednesday at home, with your family, in the household or ‘support bubble’ of which you are a part. Gather for a while. Read the prayer which I offer. Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other’s forehead. Spend some time praying in a way that you know. But please, make this a prayer of your heart for God’s mercy upon this world struggling to cope with the terrible pandemic and the devastation it is bringing.”

Read the Cardinal’s letter and his suggestions for a prayerful celebration at home.

This entry was posted in Ash Wednesday, Bishops' Conference, Lent and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.