Circular 2021 – 05
5 February 2021
TO: ALL THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA
RE: INSTRUCTIONS FOR LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS ON ASH WEDNESDAY
Dear Monsignori, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters:
Greetings of peace in the Lord!
The Congregation for Divine Worship issued the following guidelines for Ash Wednesday during this time of pandemic:
The Priest says the prayer for blessing the ashes. He sprinkles the ashes with holy water, without saying anything. Then he addresses all those present and only once says the formula as it appears in the Roman Missal, applying it to all in general: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel,” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
The Priest then cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask and distributes the ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places. The Priest takes the ashes and sprinkles them on the head of each one without saying anything.
The sprinkling of ashes on the crown gives us the opportunity to catechize our people on both the penitential and baptismal characters of the Lenten season. In Baptism, we have been anointed on the crown of the head. The ashes to be smeared on the crown signify our repentance from sin, which has marred the grace of Baptism.
The Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission has prepared the Family Celebration of the Burning of Palms/Leaves to Ashes and the Family Celebration of Ash Wednesday at Home for dissemination to our parishioners. For those who will not be able to go to church for the celebration of Ash Wednesday, we are providing the liturgical
celebrations for the burning of palms or any dried leaves to ashes and the liturgy of Ash Wednesday for families at home.
For parishes having difficulty to secure old palm branches blessed during the celebration of Palm Sunday 2020, dried leaves of plants or trees can be burned for this year’s celebration of Ash Wednesday.
Please remind the faithful that they are encouraged to give to the FAST2FEED collection. Whatever they can save from their fasting, abstinence, and other penances will be given to feed hungry and malnourished children in our Hapag-Asa program.
As we begin the season of Lent, we are reminded of the constant call for renewal in our Christian life by self-control (fasting and abstinence), generosity and charity (almsgiving) and prayer.
Thank you very much.
Yours truly in Jesus Christ,
+ BRODERICK S. PABILLO
Apostolic Administrator of Manila