It Was ‘A Good Way to Start the Lenten Season’

This Ash Wednesday, priests and bishops across the Diocese of Brooklyn imposed ashes in a new way due to the ongoing pandemic. Under Pope Francis’ recommendation, ashes were sprinkled on worshippers’ heads instead of drawing the sign of the cross on the forehead.

A Brief History: The Practice of Sprinkling Ashes

Though American Catholics are used to receiving their ashes from thumb to forehead on Ash Wednesday, this year, ashes will be sprinkled on their heads. The gesture and practice of sprinkling ashes, however, has a longstanding history within Jewish and Catholic traditions.