The Vatican modifies distribution of ashes for Ash Wednesday

Jan 28, 2021

The Diocese of Salina is recommending that parishes follow the Vatican’s modified distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday due to the current health situation caused by COVID-19. This distribution method has been used for many years in Rome.


After blessing the ashes and sprinkling them with holy water in silence, the priest addresses those present, reciting once the formula found in the Roman Missal: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.

At that point, the note continues, the priest “cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask, and distributes ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places.”

He then sprinkles the ashes on each person’s head “without saying anything.”