By Ritah Kemigisa
Ash Wednesday which begins the Lent season will today be different from the usual due to the covid-19 pandemic.
According to Monsignor Gerard Kalumba, the parish priest, Christ the King church in Kampala, as Christians gather to receive ashes today, it will be sprinkled on top of their heads rather than have it smeared on their foreheads like has been the norm.
He says all priests will be expected to wear gloves in order to avoid any body contacts as they observe Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
He adds that only 200 people will be allowed inside the church while the rest of the people will gather outside and follow through the loudspeakers.
Monsignor Kalumba has meanwhile called upon Ugandans not to lose hope given the devastation caused by the pandemic, but rather use the fasting period to renew their faith in God and everything will slowly turnaround.
The Vatican has also issued instruction notes for Ash Wednesday where after blessing the ashes and sprinkling them with holy water in silence, the priest addresses those present, reciting once the formula found in the Roman Missal: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.
At that point, the note continues, the priest “cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask, and distributes ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places.”
He then sprinkles the ashes on each person’s head “without saying anything.”