(Vatican News) Ahead of the beginning of Lent, on Wednesday, 17 February, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has published a note detailing how Catholic priests are to distribute ashes. [What “Catholic priests”, of what rite? All? The article gives no link to the CDW. The instruction is not published at the CDW web site as of this writing, days later. I looked over the “Bollettino” for the last 10 days: nothing. We know how things have been manipulated in the past. I don’t trust this. Maybe the link will show up in the next few days, but the CDW hasn’t updated their site for a full month. Is this from the American Jesuit guy? Is this a testing of the waters before publishing something more official, a usual modus operandi? Well then, here’s my opinion for the Holy See:]
Instructions: [Note that this journo summary has few quotation marks. Therefore, we don’t really know what was said, do we? No, we don’t.] After blessing the ashes and sprinkling them with holy water in silence [What? Blessings are pronounced. Is this a way to avoid telling people that there is no sin from which to repent… on… Ash… Wednesday… ? The blessings recall repentance from sin and salvation from sin. Is that bad for people to hear?], the priest addresses those present, reciting once the formula found in the Roman Missal [edit!]: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” [Why not “repent from sin”, since we missed out on that with the non-blessing of the ashes?] or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. [Just once for everyone? Wait… What? Let’s continue…]
At that point, the note continues [I’m not taking this journo’s word for it], the priest “cleanses his hands, [Because you wouldn’t want the ashes to get dirty because – why? – they are Pachamama ashes?] puts on a face mask [And there it is, the liturgical face mask (barf, barf, barf…). I wonder if there is a liturgical barf bag], and distributes ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places.” [Yeah, you know, with zero social distancing because the mask makes it all better according to spin doctor Fauci who changes his mind as minutes go by.]
He then sprinkles the ashes on each person’s head “without saying anything.” [This is a custom in Italy, not so much in these USA. Does that mean that making the sign of the cross on the penitent’s forehead is forbidden? I’d like to see the exact language and the method by which this is promulgated.]
Here’s the deal: You don’t get to change liturgical law for the universal church by way of hearsay. This is bullying, pure and simple.
I will not comply. [edit!]
This will lead quite directly to desecration of the Blessed Sacrament:
If a priest is to wash his hands before touching the ashes which are only going to be sprinkled on the person’s head from on high, how is the Most Blessed Sacrament to be distributed in Holy Communion to the faithful? The hypocritical inconsistencies are, I’m guessing, quite purposed, so that the sacrilege we’ve seen with altar breads to be purchased already individually packaged in cellophane wrappers are what’s coming next, you know, a mask for Jesus, literally. All those particles of the Sacred Host? Thrown away? Or the cellophaned Jesus brought to satanic rituals or kept as a “memento.” Or, the priest is to wash his hands again after every communicant has communicated, you know, with ablutions the priest drinks himself? Every time? Or, a new pair of gloves – you know, with the particles clinging to the gloves like metal shavings cling to a magnet? Self-communication doesn’t work as you would have to have a different ciborium for each person present. And how are the ablutions to be made with no risk of desecration to the Blessed Sacrament except that the priest drinks these himself? Oh, that’s right: Kill the priests! That’s the goal! Actually not. The goal is to mock the liturgy, to mock God, right? Just a question, but please, explain all this to me.
So… I will not comply.
And if I’m dismissed from the clerical state because I insist that repentance is repentance from sin, or because I’m protecting the Blessed Sacrament from sacrilege, so be it. I want to go to heaven.
8 responses to “Bull S*** Vatican Ash Wed rubric-masks, non-blessing of ashes? I will not comply.”
There is in the art world, extra long handle artists brushes. They allow the artist to stand a good distance from the easel to gain better perspective whilst painting. Perhaps the priest could use a similar device for painting the cross on the parishioners forehead? It seems appropriate since of late many clergy members are painting that cross with a lampblack slurry more similar to paint than ashes. Of course the mask is still required. The beret is optional, but would be a nice touch.
A barrel brush for a rifle would work nicely. I am afraid I would poke eyes out.
To be fair, Byzantine Catholics, and I assume most other Eastern Catholic churches, don’t have Ash Wednesday-we begin Lent on Pure Monday, in keeping with our Orthodox tradition so have already begun Lent by the time you distribute your ashes.
Amen, Catherine! Amen, Father!
I’m sorry Father George. I feel a rant coming on so I will understand if you want to put my writing aside.
I am just a lay person, a nobody. However, I declare that I am a Christian in love with my Lord and my God, Jesus Christ.
I felt sick with dismay when I heard of the changes. There is so much much wrong with these instructions that I won’t even begin to address all the issues. However, first, am going to point out that the Word of God is so powerful! Why is it so powerful? Because, the Word of God is Jesus! When we go up to the priest in order to receive the imposition of the blessed Ashes, it is such an important and solumn Declaration that each and every soul is making. When the priest pronounces over each person the Words, such as “Repent and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return”, etc. These “Words of God” are etched into our souls. These are the holy Words that we carry in our hearts and souls all through Lent. Jesus speaks to each one of us personally through the priest when he gives us these Gospel Words upon entering the season of Penance and Fasting for Lent. When we receive the Word of God and the blessed Ashes, we are prepared and strengthened to enter a time of repentance for our sins. We present to God our intention for the upcoming Lent. For the priest to say nothing as the Ashes are administered, or to not say out loud the blessing over the Ashes, takes away the significance of receiving the Ashes. Its like going to an exorcism and not praying. It seems to me that unless you declare the Words of the Gospel to the sinner so that they can hear and understand what they are being asked of God, all the priest is doing is putting a smug on your face that mucks up that person’s bangs and makeup for the day. We are seeking repentance because of the sorrow for our sins! Also, sprinkling ashes on the head is not the the sign of the Cross which is so symbolic to show our willingness to carry the cross with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and expressing our sorrow for our sins. I don’t have to have a degree in the Church teaching to know that there is something terribly wrong and empty with these new instructions.
Gosh, I’m also going to say as well…the Church experts seem to have overlooked something crucial in this Pandemic. JESUS IS GOD! Have we forgotten who made the Universe and little ol’ us? I quote from the beginning of a prayer: “My Jesus, I firmly confess that You are the only true healer of body and soul.” Where is everyone’s faith in Jesus to protect us and help us in these times and to heal us? Why are we shutting Jesus out of our lives with the closing down of the Churches and not receiving Holy Communion reverently? Do we not trust that Jesus will protect us in his House? Saint Mother Claire of Assisi held Jesus in the Monstrance to forestall an attack on her monastary. She knew and trusted in Jesus to save her and her daughters from certain death. What has happened to our faith in Jesus? In the New Testament, Jesus performed so many miracles that it was said that it would fill up all the books that could circle the world. Also, before Jesus left this earth he promised that we would do greater miracles than what He did. Good grief… for the Church heirarchy not to call on Jesus and also not demand of the authorities to keep open our Churches is so faithless and not trusting in the Lord. For the Church heirarchy not to fight for us normal “Joes” so that we have access to the House of God and receive Holy Communion worthily is derelict of their duty. I love my Brothers and Sisters in Christ but to not say anything is to condone these actions that seems so sacriligious to me. My spirit is rebelling at offending God.
That’s all I am going to say. If you allowed me this rant Father George, I thank you. If not, not to worry. God knows you mean well. God bless you and all that are here.
You can always rant here Catherine!