LOS ANGELES - The yearly tradition of placing ashes of believer’s foreheads for Ash Wednesday took different turns, depending on what church you attended during these COVID times.
One church had a drive-dash type of approach, asking people to stay in their vehicles and open the trunk, where a bag of blessed ashes and a prayer were placed inside, so people could go through the ritual with loved ones at home.
At the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, about 174 people were actually allowed to go into the massive structure that would usually hold thousand. Ashes were sprinkled over the heads of those spaced out in lines, in a choreography that included communion placed on hands, and not put in the mouth, except by the person holding it, once they stepped away and could, safely, lower their mask, away from everyone.
With all the limitations though, people were visibly touched and more than happy to tell us how joyful they felt.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of lent for Christians, who use the time to get closer to God by fasting praying and charity.