By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – Ash Wednesday, as with many events during the coronavirus pandemic, will be a little different this year in Massachusetts. The Archdiocese of Boston released specific protocols for the holiday.

Priests are advised to sprinkle the ashes on the crown of a person’s head without saying anything. They shouldn’t place ashes directly on foreheads or touch the recipient, as is customary.

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Alternatively, priests are allowed to place ashes on someone’s forehand using a cotton swab or something similar. The swab is only allowed to be used once, and it is supposed to be burned afterward.

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Both parties must be wearing masks.

The Archdiocese said that, this year, take-home packets of ashes are another option churches may consider.

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Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. This year it falls on February 17.

CBSBoston.com Staff