Johannesburg, 16 February, 2021 / 6:44 pm (ACI Africa).
Catholics who will not be going to Church for the celebration of Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of Lent have the option of marking the event at home with their family members using a guide that has been developed by members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) at the Jesuit Institute South Africa.
In the guide seen by ACI Africa, the Jesuits note that COVID-19 guidelines by various governments concerning Church services are likely to impact people’s participation in the February 17 event.
“Due to the global pandemic, lockdown and limited numbers allowed to attend services on Ash Wednesday, we offer this service which can be done at home, in your family or those you live with. It is a simple service,” the Jesuits say in a statement circulated Monday, February 15.
In the guide titled, “a Service of the Word and Distribution of Ashes,” family members are also required to prepare the environment for the service of the Word of God by having a nice clear table, a cloth and candle.
“You can put a cross, icon or open Bible on the table,” the Jesuits advise, and add, “Try to ensure that the environment is quiet for the duration of your prayer time.”