Priests in Bantayan need more ashes for Ash Wednesday; turn to faithful for help
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — Priests at the Parish of Saints Peters and Paul in Bantayan town on Bantayan Island have asked from their parishioners to make donations of blessed and dried palm leaves or branches that they may have kept from previous years.
“Among gihangyo sa katong anaay mga laya nga binditado nga mga lukay sa paghatud dinhi sa atong simbahan igka Martes sa hapon aron magamit sa rito pagsunog ug ang abo niini gamiton sa Ash Wednesday,” an advisory that was posted on the parish’s official Facebook page read.
(We appeal to those who have last year’s blessed palm leaves to bring them to our church this Tuesday afternoon so that we can use it in the burning ritual, where the ashes will be used for Ash Wednesday.)
The Roman Catholic Church will already be celebrating Ash Wednesday on February 17, but because of the pandemic, some changes will have to be implemented during the celebration.
Since not all Bantayan town residents could be accommodate during the Ash Wednesday Masses, parish officials said that the family representatives who would be hearing Mass would be given ashes that they could sprinkle on the heads of their family members when they would reach home.
“Adunay ipanghatag nga abo ug prayer guide sa matag representante sa pamilya,” the advisory read.
(Ashes would be given to family representatives and a prayer guide.)
“Ang pagdawat sa abo pinaagi lamang sa pagbudbod sa atong ulo ug dili ibadlis sa agtang aron luwas kita sa kuntaminasyon,” the advisory added.
(To receive the ash, one can sprinkle it on the head and not to mark it on the forehead to be safe and avoid contamination [of the virus].)
Churchgoers are also reminded to continue to observe health and safety protocols to ensure a safe celebration of the lenten season.
On January 14, Most Rev. Victor Bendico, D.D., the chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Liturgy and Bishop of Baguio City, announced the need to implement some modifications in the liturgical celebrations especially during the Lenten Season, Paschal Triduum and Easter Season “to keep the essentials and at the same time to help our faithful experience with solemnity and fruitfulness the Paschal mystery of the Lord” during this time of the pandemic.
Bendico said this would include the use of ashes coming from dried branches of leaves of plants or tress.
“Many parishes will find it difficult to secure old palm branches blessed in the celebration of Palm Sunday of 2020; our celebration last year was in the absence of our people because of the strict lockdown and only few palm branches were blessed on the occasion,” he said in an advisory posted on the officials website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
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