PASTOR'S STATEMENT FOR SAFETY PROTOCOLS/DECLARACION DEL PARROCO SOBRE PROTOCOLO DE SEGURIDAD...
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ASH WEDNESDAY 20

What we are giving up for Lent is sin, not social media, TV, chocolate or soda. Though they help us from engaging in guilty and excessive pleasures and comfort instead channel our quality time to prayer, bodily sacrifices and almsigiving. Joel said, “Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God.” Joel knows better than anyone. Many Catholics will come to church to get ashes. Some are sincere, others not. What I mean is that getting ashes for the sake of getting ashes defeats the purpose of the day. Getting ashes means repentance. In so doing, we are joining an ancient ritual of acknowledging human nature as frail and weak and renouncing sin and sinfulness. Give up sin and anything that leads you into it. 

Let me share the prayer for the blessing and the distribution of ashes:

Dear Brethren, let us humbly ask God our Father that he be pleased to bless with the abundance of his grace these ashes, which we will put on our heads in penitence.

O God, who are moved by acts of humility and respond with forgiveness to works of penance, lend your merciful ear to our prayers and in your kindness pour out the grace of blessing on your servants who are marked with these ashes, that, as they follow the Lenten observances, they may be worthy to come with minds made pure to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of your Son.

At the distribution of ashes, the two formula may be used:   

Repent and believe in the Gospel…Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.

Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return. 

And this, Prayer over the People for the final blessing: 

Pour out a spirit of compunction, O God, on those who bow before your majesty,

And by your mercy may they merit the rewards you promise

To those who do penance.

Through Christ our Lord.

Tags: ASH WEDNESDAY