Student body comes together for Ash Wednesday

Churches find safe ways to observe Ash Wednesday as a community

Tony Farrell

Tala El Qadah, Reporter

WEB EXCLUSIVE Many Christians annually come together to observe Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, but with COVID-19 not allowing in-person attendance, churches have found different ways to observe the day. 

“St. Ignatius had an option where you can pick up small kits that have ashes and instructions on how to use them and dispose of them respectfully,” senior Sofia Houts said. “They also had a virtual Mass like they have been doing weekly ever since COVID-19 happened.”

Head of School Tony Farrell sent an email to the student body with an attached 10-minute video including a brief Liturgy of the World as well as readings from student LIFE representatives Gabi Guido and Owen Akel and Wellness Counselor Roberto Parris. 

“It was really nice that the school put a video together for the school to watch,” sophomore Julia Kearney said.“It felt like we were in the gym at Stuart Hall like we were last year.”

The Rev. Eddy Gutierrez, who often conducts the school’s paraliturgies, gave a brief homily after reading the Gospel. Gutierrez reminded the community that this year has been difficult for many people, so it is important to remember that individually, we have a responsibility to reach out to those who are isolated and feeling alone.

“We all play a part, and we can’t just leave it up to the clergy as the laity makes up a greater portion of our church community,” Gutierrez wrote in an email. “I miss being around the students on days like today. The energy the community provides is very enriching and I look forward to the day we can gather again.”

Even with the coronavirus restrictions, many members of the community are continuing to find importance in celebrating Ash Wednesday, and they are appreciative of the effort put in by their local parishes.

“This year, Ash Wednesday was very different from past years,” Houts said. “I am still glad that churches have found a way to bring us together during this hard time.”