Louisville Catholics celebrate second straight Ash Wednesday amid pandemic

Louisville Catholics celebrate second straight Ash Wednesday amid pandemic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Wednesday marks the start of Lent for Christians around the world.

It’s Ash Wednesday, marking forty days until the celebration of Easter, and for many in Louisville and surrounding areas, things are a little different.

“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,” said Father Jim Hackett Monday morning at St. James Catholic Church.

It’s a blessing usually heard by every person receiving ashes in Louisville on Ash Wednesday.

However, this year that blessing will just be said just once by the pastor before ashes are distributed over the crown of each person’s head.

Between a global pandemic and harsh winter weather, lower turnout was expected throughout the Archdiocese of Louisville and they said that’s okay.

“If there are zero people at Church they will still celebrate mass,” said Karen Shadle, Director of Worship for the Archdiocese. “They will still do morning and evening prayer. The people are always still a part of that and so the prayer of the Church continues whether we are there or not.”

It was one year ago during Lent when the Archdiocese of Louisville began making changes due to COVID-19 and things are still different, but they’re looking up.

“It seems like we entered Lent last year and we never left in some ways,” Shadle said with a smile. “Those sacrifices that were entailed by social distancing and all the different regulations we’ve had to undergo. I think that in these times we’re all looking for hope and Lent is a great time and it has special meaning this year because I think we’re all hopeful for something better and something different.”

The Archdiocese said they’re under direction of the Vatican, so all Catholics are doing ashes the same this year.

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