The Archdiocese of Tulancingo issued a call to it’s church leaders and congregants to find ways to celebrate Ash Wednesday, while staying safe and not exceeding the 25% capacity each church is allowed. The Parroquia de la Asunción de María de Pachuca came up with the idea of a ashes to-go kit for it’s parishioners.
Asunción de María had volunteers deliver the small kit to some of its elderly and most vulnerable members. Attached to a prayer sheet, a plastic envelope with ash was given to the worshippers, with directions for the parishioner or one of their family members, on how to give the ashes to others in the household. The “guide,” as the church is calling it, says that this celebration be carried out as a family and that it be guided by the head of the family, either mom or dad, and then unfold the prayer that will be said prior to the placement of the ashes.
For the parishioners who were heading to in-person mass, they could obtain the envelope with the ashes, as well as the guide, when they entered the church where tables were placed near the entrances in order to make it visible to those who came to the parish. The church stated that there would be two celebrations, and a mass. All would be livestreamed on Facebook.
The church went a step further to protect its congregants. On February 15, it declared that no parishioner would be able to receive the mark of the cross in person, so to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Contrary to worship spaces in the United States who have sued, and attempted to bypass COVID safety protocols in order to meet, the Archdiocese of Tulancingo insisted that their parishes find a way to keep their parishioners safe and to stress the option of staying home.