Despite fears of the further spread of the dreaded COVID-19, the Philippine Church will open the Lenten season this week with Ash Wednesday.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, urged the Catholic faithful not to be unduly overwhelmed by fears of the epidemic as to bypass the observance of Ash Wednesday Feb 26.
“Let us not be sidetracked by the coronavirus in living the season of grace this Lent,” he said. Monsignor Pabillo told United Catholic News (Ucan). He said the faithful should not be confused by “changed external practices.”
“Let us go to the core meaning of our rites,” he said.
But as a preventive measure, instead of brushing ash on the foreheads, priests will sprinkle ash on the heads of the faithful.
This will help minimize contact and lessen the possibility of contagion.
He said the faithful should not be confused by “changed external practices.”
He said despite the modified ritual, the meaning is the same—that is, a call to “humility and repentance.”
“Thus while the dust is imposed on us, whether on top of the head or on the forehead, we are reminded of our lowly origin,” said Pabillo.
“Humility and repentance are the essence, and these should not be lost in whatever form the ash is imposed on us.”
The prelate reminded the faithful that Lent is a season of renewal.
Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday April 5.
Novena to miracle saint
Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City is holding the Novena to San Vicente Ferrer every Friday, 5:30 p.m.
A Dominican missionary during the medieval ages, San Vicente Ferrer is considered a miraculous saint and the patron saint of builders.
The church, which hosts the National Shrine of La Naval de Manila, is likewise holding the perpetual novena to the Santissimo Rosario de La Naval de Manila every Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Every Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., the church holds the perpetual novena to Saint Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order.