February 15, 2021
Ready or not, Lent is just a couple of days away. Ash Wednesday is this February 17 and it will look a little different, with COVID-19 precautions featuring the sprinkling of ashes on the top of the head, a practice that is common in Europe. In the Diocese of El Paso, parishes will have to maintain 25% capacity for ash distribution this year.
Catholics usually get an acclamation and the sign of the Cross on their forehead. This year, the priest or deacon will say, "From ashes your were born, to ashes you will return." You will then get in a socially distanced line and receive a sprinkling of ashes over your head for a contactless ash distribution.
Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and and ends three days before Easter Sunday on Thursday, April 1, 2021.
Services will still be held at parishes throughout the diocese. Please check your parish for Mass and service times. If you aren't comfortable with going to church to get ashes, you can watch a live service on the Diocesan Facebook page led by Bishop Mark Seitz. COVID-19 protocols including mask-wearing, social distancing and the using of hand sanitizer will also be required.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” — Matthew 20:18