POLL: Distribution of ashes and the form used – #AshWednesday #Lent 2021

This year we may have differing practices for the distribution of ashes today, Ash Wednesday.

Let’s have a poll to find out what you readers experienced.

Choose your best answer.

Anyone can participate.  To post a comment you have to be registered and approved.

If you are registered, I hope you will post a comment to describe what happened with the distribution of ashes today.

For 2021 Ash Wednesday about reception of ASHES

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And also about the form used for distribution:

When I received ashes for Ash Wednesday 2021 the formula used was...

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. PaulusFranciscus says:

    There is no Traditional Latin Mass where I live.

    The priest, who is actually holy and gifted cleric, used a formula in the vernacular. And then we were asked to approach in the same manner according to COVID-19 protocols we’ve been using for the Eucharist. We were asked to extend a hand and receive the ashes in our hand, to be applied on our ourselves. At our option, we could take a Kleenex and have the ashes placed in the Kleenex, so that we could apply them ourselves in the pew, and bring some home to our “spouses, kids, and co-workers”.

    I am sickened.

  2. Fr. Charles A. F. says:

    I thought of a neat little trick today: I spoke at some length in my homily (RotR NO) about how reverteris can be parsed either as future passive or as present passive, remarking that we would even now be reverting to dust, were it not for the grace of God who sustains us in being. So it seemed very natural to use the Latin phrase for the imposition of ashes. Which was done individually, on the forehead, by myself, two deacons, and the other assistant pastor.

  3. Mr. Graves says:

    DS and I were too late singing up for the number-restricted Ash Wednesday service, and weren’t able to attend. Nonetheless, the formula is always Memento Mori in Latin (TLM).

  4. ChesterFrank says:

    I didn’t go to church (but usually do) . I did read what would happen. “Repent and believe in the gospel “ said once over all attendees, then ash sprinkled on top the head. Packets of blessed ash available to-go for those who couldn’t attend. I have been to Mass maybe 5 times over the past year due to COVID. I wonder what the people’s response to Lent will be this year considering what already had to be given up this year of COVID. Normally one enters Lent after Fat Tuesday, my impression is that Lent this year is beginning with Good Friday.

  5. ex seaxe says:

    I am privileged to live on an island with no current transmission of the virus, after a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown which ended 10 days ago. No restrictions, 2 Masses today (OF following the rubrics) and throughout Lent, God willing; about two-thirds of the congregation of a normal Sunday.

  6. fr.ignatius says:

    (I thought the alternative was “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” but maybe that was old translation?)

    Personally I said the “remember thou art dust”, (putting on the head, during the tlm)

    But I secretly prefer the alternative. To me, it makes more sense. But there you go.

  7. ajf1984 says:

    I attended our local TLM High Mass this afternoon, by accident really! My territorial Parish did not have a noon Mass as I originally thought. The church was packed, with plenty of young families and children there. The two priests imposed ashes on the forehead in the form of a cross while saying the Memento Mori over each of us individually. Truly a wonderful way to start Lent 2021!

  8. APX says:

    The priest was trying to draw a cross, but it came out looking more like a swastika. Awkward.

  9. Sue says:

    I didn’t go to Mass today, but always have gone on Ash Wednesday. Our priest told me the other evening that he will be distributing ashes on the forehead as always and that our diocese said we can bring back the holy water fonts now. And then he told me we should have an altar rail within two years!!! Brick by brick!

  10. Padre says:

    Here in Grand Rapids we had both forms available and we followed the CDWs suggestions. Ashes sprinkled on the head, which of course is normative anyway, with the change that “momento homo” was said only once.

  11. kat says:

    Though school was cancelled due to weather, enough people came to morning Mass to still be able to serve and sing a Missa Cantata! TLM. Two priests distributed ashes, on the forehead, sign of the cross, “memento..,”. Then one priest hopped in the confessional during the Mass.

    Father spoke of three reminders from the cross of ashes on our foreheads:1) we will return to dust; 2) it’s our sign like that of the Crusaders as we go into spiritual battle; 3) it is our cross we carry into Lent, as we remember Jesus’ sufferings.

  12. deaconjohn1987 says:

    I assisted the celebrant at Mass (NO), did all the readings and Gospel (no Lector), provided a booklet with the prayers for the blessing of Ashes, provided a bottle of Holy Water for sprinkling the Ashes with the priest, sprinkled the congregaion on their heads with the blessed Ashes, helped priest with washing of fingers with bowl of soapy water and towel I set up, helped with Holy Communion (Large attendance at Mass). I’m 84 and happy to serve!

  13. Nathanael says:

    I went to a TLM, where we had ashes smudged, not sprinkled, atop our pates rather than upon our brows, and not in crosses; I’m unsure how to classify that.
    This was done by the Priest alone, and in silence, though later Fr. did preach in part about coming from and returning to dust.

  14. Matthew says:

    NO Mass, individual ashes and Repent and believe in the gospel, but ashes were administered with a q-tip (a new q-tip for each person).

  15. Since there is bad weather here in Texas, and since my husband just had cancer surgery, we stayed home. As I mentioned in another post, we have blessed ashes that our priest gave us a long time ago and I probably have enough left for the rest of my life. He doesn’t do things in a small way. We signed each other here at home and used the words, “Remember O man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shall return.”

    Our Bishop sent out a notice to all the parishes to distribute ashes after Mass this coming Sunday.

  16. Geoffrey says:

    “I didn’t go to church but I usually do go on Ash Wednesday”.

    This year there was only one evening Mass in the area and it was in Spanish. Here in California, many parishes are still not back on their previously normal schedules.

  17. Gab says:

    My sister-in-law mentioned how the Ashes were sprinkled on the top of her head – via a pepper shaker! Imagine walking up to the altar and someone gets a pepper shaker and ,,, it’s all too absurd.

  18. Greg the Geologist says:

    In my diocese in California, NO Mass, the instruction from on high was to use individual Q-Tips, to be tossed out after each use. Interesting in that the bishop is a noted environmental activist – that’s a lot of trash. The older associate pastor used the traditional formula in English.

    Good news: The new pastor cited his friend Fr. Tim Ferguson in his homily. A bright spot in the day after losing our friend Rush (may he rest in peace).

    Odd news: Maybe I could have saved some time: on the way back from Mass I noticed a drive-through flu shot facility along with drive-through Wuhan testing, and a few blocks later I could have obtained drive-through ashes (local Presbyterians). Wouldn’t have had to leave the truck!

  19. teratpeaks says:

    We are very blessed to have a priest who has not overreacted to the virus. The only time mass wasn’t offered was when it was forbidden by the bishop. He asks us to wear masks, but that’s it. Pews are not roped off, we’re just asked to sit farther apart. It’s NO and the hymns chosen could use some improvement, but he’s a really good priest. We do have lay Eucharistic ministers, but I always skip them and go to the priest or deacon, and they all will give me Jesus on the tongue. I’m not the only who receives that way, either. I could have done the same for ashes, but I didn’t think it was as big a deal, so I received ashes from a lay person, in a cross on my forehead, with “Repent and believe in the gospel” said.

  20. Hans says:

    Well, Wednesday is usually my ‘day off’, so I presided at/celebrated a prayer service with ashes. We had a good crowd (~100 with a current limit of 125) of mostly familiar faces (or semi-faces), and our dynamic-duo of complainers (who are paid by the parish, apparently, to complain about the clergy therein) weren’t there, I think I managed not to exult excessively.
    We were given the options of disposing of individual qtips and sprinkling atop the head. Both the parish priest and I thought the qtip option ridiculous (or at least we ridiculed it), and having seen such pictures as the one above mit der gerechter Kardinal/Papst, decided that was a good option.
    I used both formulas with an almost inaudible “and so” betwixt them and the ‘thous’ in the former. I think they’re both appropriate; however, I object to people objecting to the former “because it’s old-fashioned”. I said it once, as per instructions from Downtown. I was assisted by a parishioner, who sprinkled ashes on my head. So my responses (or lack thereof in one case) to the polls.

  21. Orual says:

    I went to my very first Traditional Latin Ash Wednesday mass at 7 am and got to see the ashes be tripled blessed by the priest! Received ashes on the forehead by the priest. He said something in Latin for each of us and I think it was the “Memento” but I’m not sure. Had to get up very early and drive 45 minutes each way, but it was well worth it! Why can’t it be done like this always and everywhere?

  22. Went to church (NO) and declined to have ashes sprinkled on my head by a lay person. There was no option to receive from a priest.

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