Ash Wednesday to proceed without physical contact, Cleveland Catholic Diocese says

Coronavirus

CLEVELAND (WJW)– The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is changing the way it distributes ashes on Ash Wednesday because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of marking each forehead with a cross, priests will sprinkle ashes to avoid physical contact. They will also only say the blessing once, as opposed to each person.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said this method of distributing ashes is common practice in other countries, but is not well known in the U.S.

Ash Wednesday is Feb. 17.

Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. John in downtown Cleveland at 7:15 a.m., noon (livestreamed with Bishop Malesic as celebrant) and 7 p.m.

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