Amidst the coronavirus scare, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is urging priests and bishops to not mark devotees’ foreheads with wet ash on Ash Wednesday.
According to the CBCP, heads of churches can sprinkle dry ash on top of the head.
The CBCP, led by Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles added that churchgoers are discouraged from touching or kissing the cross on Good Friday. Instead, they are asked to bow in front of the cross.
Last month, the organization also announced that everyone should minimize contact with other people. Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David and Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said that churches should stop putting holy water by the church doors. David suggested that priests can sprinkle holy water over the crowd right after the mass.
He also said that a bow could replace shaking hands or kissing each other on the cheek during the sign of peace. If asking for blessings from a priest, the minister can tap the devotee’s head with the back of the hand.
The CBCP added that churchgoers refrain from holding hands during the “Our Father.” They can also receive the communion by hand.
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