Ash Wednesday is February 17th and is when we begin our Lenten observance. As you know, this day usually sees many people coming to the church to receive ashes. As you also know, due to social distancing, we cannot accommodate the number of people who would normally want to be in church that day. Please remember that it is not necessary for anyone to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. What is profoundly more important is that you seek a deeper conversion of heart toward the Lord, which is what the imposition of ashes represents. If you were to ask me if it were more important to receive ashes or to spend some time that day praying with Scripture, I would say spend the time with Scripture. That said, we will be offering the following opportunities for the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday:
- 9:00 Mass – Registration required by calling the parish office or going online – Please plan on coming to this Mass ONLY if you regularly come to weekday Mass as our church is already pretty full for weekday Mass. Ashes will be distributed after Mass instead of during Mass. This will reduce the time spent in church and anyone who wishes to come by at about 9:30 can come and receive ashes. Fr. Derek will remain until the line stops.
- 12:00 to 12:30 – Weather permitting, Fr. Derek will be outside by the side door to distribute ashes for anyone who is concerned about coming into the church. If the weather does not permit, this will have to be moved inside.
- 4:00 Brief Liturgy of the Word – Registration required by calling the parish office or going online – A brief Liturgy of the Word with a homily followed by the distribution of ashes at the end. Fr. Derek will remain until 4:45 for those who wish to walk through the church for ashes.
- 6:30 Mass – Registration required by calling the parish office or going online – Again, ashes will be distributed after Mass has concluded.
Please note: Ashes will be distributed by being sprinkled on the top of the head as opposed to on the forehead. This will prevent contact and reduce the risk of any transmission, and is the traditional way it is done in other parts of the world.
Ash Wednesday Collection: Traditionally a collection is taken up on Ash Wednesday for the support of Catholic Charities of Boston. Offertory baskets will be available at the 9:00, 4:00 and 6:30 services, or you may make your donation online. Be sure to earmark it “Special Collection: Catholic Charities.” Thank you for your support.