Ndola, 14 February, 2021 / 1:00 pm (ACI Africa).
The Bishop of Zambia’s Diocese of Ndola has directed members of the Clergy in his jurisdiction to use any dried plants to prepare the Ashes that will be used at the beginning of Lent, Wednesday, February 17.
In a Tuesday, February 9 statement, Bishop Benjamin Phiri says his decision has been informed by the fact that amid COVID-19 last year, Palm Sunday was not celebrated "thus, there was no blessing of palms which are supposed to provide the Ashes on this year's Ash Wednesday."
"I therefore permit all Parish Priests in the diocese to prepare ashes from any decent leaves of dried plants or branches, which will be blessed for use on Ash Wednesday," Bishop Phiri says.
He also urges Parish Priests to "spread the celebration of Ash Wednesday Masses to accommodate all parishioners."
During the Mass that symbolizes the beginning of the Lenten Season, the Zambian Bishop insists that Clerics distribute the ashes in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship.