Ash Wednesday Celebration Changes during COVID- 19

Ash Wednesday Celebration Changes during COVID- 19

Holland Ramos, Writer

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent. This year it will be celebrated throughout the ILS community in a little bit of a different way this year, due to COVID-19.

The season of Lent is a time of where Catholics can reflect and prepare for Easter. The day is a Christian holiday filled with prayer and fasting. This year Ash Wednesday lands on February 17th, 2021. 

Traditionally, ILS students, teachers, and faculty members all come together for a Ash Wednesday mass in the gym. During the Mass, a priest blessed the ashes that will eventually end up on each individual person’s forehead in the shape of a cross. The ashes symbolize both death and repentance.

This year, due to COVID-19 it is not possible for all ILS members to gather in one place for this mass. Students and faculty will join mass through their F block class via zoom. Initially, the school had planned to hold a mass on the field, and everyone on campus would have been in attendance, with the virtual students zooming in. Unfortunately, rain in the forecast and rain from the previous day forced a change in plan.

Another change to Ash Wednesday this year deals with the ashes themselves. Due to sanitary reasons, the ashes will not be placed on students and teachers’ foreheads to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Courtesy of Sister Kim, everyone will receive a necklace to symbolize the ashes, this is to have something that reminds us of the meaning of Lent.

Mrs Beltran, Director of Campus Ministry at ILS, explained that Lent as we know today is “a season where we can gather to have conversation.We can take the time to acknowledge the ways we may have turned away from God in our lives, and can focus on turning our hearts and minds back toward God.” 

Senior Emma Callahan is a member of peer ministry at ILS. She says: “I am very happy I can be around my ILS community for this special day.”

During the season of Lent, it is tradition for most people to give up something that may help them them grow in their faith or as a person all together. Their are three pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Each of these pillars have an equally important role in making Lent effective. 

Senior Sofia Nunez says “Usually, I go to school on Ash Wednesday and hear about what other people are giving up for Lent, but this year I’ve taken the time to deeply think about the things that are doing more harm then good in my life and focus on giving it up.”