ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Christians around the globe start the Lenten season with a visit to church on Ash Wednesday, which leads up to Easter Sunday.
Despite the pandemic, the Diocese of St. Petersburg found a safe way to continue the traditions.
What You Need To Know
- Diocese of St. Petersburg made changes for Ash Wednesday
- Priests will sprinkle ash on people’s heads instead of touching them to make forhead cross
- Catholic churches in St. Pete will still hold mass on Ash Wednesday
“On a normal Ash Wednesday, you’d see people walking around the streets with the crosses on their forehead, so while we will have Mass, and we will have ashes this Ash Wednesday, we’re not going to have crosses on the forehead,” said Father Ralph D’Elia.
Father D’Elia said priests will sprinkle ash on people’s heads instead of touching them to make the cross. He said not only is it safer because there’s less contact, but it’s actually the traditional way of doing it and the way the Pope does it.
Catholic churches in St. Pete will still hold mass on Ash Wednesday, and Father D’Elia said it’s even more important to celebrate this year.
"It’s a beautiful way to start these next 40 days in preparation for Easter," said Father D'Elia. "To remember that essential connection we have with the Lord, to remember our humanity, to remember that sometimes we fall, sometimes we make mistakes.
"But the Lord is always there to pick us up, and he wants us to continue to turn to Him."