Changes to expect from Ash Wednesday celebrations this year

Where to celebrate Ash Wednesday?
Posted at 5:51 AM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 11:09:21-05

CINCINNATI — Wednesday is Ash Wednesday for Catholics in the Tri-State, and the church has made some adjustments to the celebration this year to keep COVID-19 protocols in place.

One of the major changes to the Catholic celebration is the placement of the ashes themselves.

In the US, ashes are customarily rubbed in the sign of the cross on a person's forehead, but this year, the Vatican said ashes should be sprinkled on a person's head instead. This method is not unheard of and is popular in parts of Europe and Latin America.

The Vatican is also calling for priests and people attending Mass to be masked while receiving the ashes.

Other faiths are getting creative with how to celebrate Ash Wednesday this year.

Anderson Hills Methodist Church, for example, has painted the ashes on special paper so each person can rub ashes on their own forehead.

Churches are also spacing out parishioners who attend Mass to maintain social distancing.