Ash Wednesday Mass in downtown Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (WJW) – Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent for Christian observers.

There were some new traditions this year because of COVID-19.

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland announced recently instead of the priest touching each individual head to mark a cross with ashes, he would instead bless the ashes once and then sprinkle ashes on worshipper’s heads without saying an individual blessing to each person to limit contact.

A face mask was worn while doing so.

The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made humans, according to belief.

The tradition of wearing an ash cross on the forehead is a visible symbol of penance.

Bishop Edward Malesic was installed as the 12th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in September.

This was his first Ash Wednesday in Cleveland.

Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland at 7:15 a.m. and noon, and will also be celebrated at 7 p.m.

You can watch it via livestream here.

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