Windsor-Essex to mark Ash Wednesday with virtual services

Ash Wednesday will be marked differently this year.

Usually Christians attend services that include having a priest or pastor mark a sign of the cross on a person’s forehead or back, but with COVID restrictions in place, that won’t happen this year. .

“I would say that, by and large, people are fed up with the COVID situation. They are dying to go back to church. They miss their friends, they miss the church service,” Reverend Frank said. Staples of Riverside United Church.

The church is not holding its regular Ash Wednesday service this year due to the pandemic. Instead, there will be a pre-recorded service that will be posted on the church’s website the day before.

“But what we’ll do our best with the worship team, the little, little worship team that I’ve assembled to record the service – we’ll maintain social distancing. What I’ll do is probably mark the my wife’s forehead and she in turn will mark mine. So just to give an example, a physical example of what’s being done, and that will have to be enough, I guess, “Staples said.

Windsor-Essex has been on lockdown since mid-December, and the province has since put in place new restrictions, including a stay-at-home order.

Under the rules, the capacity limit for in-person church services is set at 10 as long as masking and physical distancing can be maintained, but many congregations have switched to virtual services.

The Catholic Diocese of London is canceling all Ash Wednesday services. The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School will be hosting a virtual online service that students can connect to at home and in the classroom.

The superintendent responsible for faith issues, Joseph Ibrahim, said that in no way diminishes the importance of the day.

“Prayer and fasting in the Catholic tradition is an important part of our faith and we do it with the hope of greater things to come,” Ibrahim said.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 17th.

Hope, Ibrahim said, is for a more normal Easter.

“I think when we are finally out of the pandemic, I think it will help people appreciate what we have,” Ibrahim said.

Perry A. Thomasson