Are their church guidelines for Extraodinary Ministers of Holy Communion distributing ashes on Ash Wednesday to the home bound?
I don’t think so…but I could be wrong…Maybe some direction from the pastor, but disposition of ashes is not a sacrament, the ashes are only sacramental.
The USA’s edition of the Book of Blessings (ISBN 0814618758 ) has in Chapter 52 “Order for the Blessing and Distribution of Ashes Ash Wednesday”. This is not in the original Latin edition of the Book of Blessings.
The Introduction includes:
“1658 If already blessed ashes are brought to the sick, the blessing is omitted and the distribution takes place immediately after the homily. The homily should conclude by inviting the sick person to prepare himself or herself for the reception of the ashes.
1659 This rite may be celebrated by a priest or deacon who may be assisted by lay ministers in the distribution of the ashes. The blessing of the ashes, however, is reserved to a priest or deacon.”
The ceremony makes it clear that a lay person can conduct it without a Priest or Deacon. For example it has:
“1662 A lay minister greets those present in the following words:
Praised be the God of grace, ….”.
[Excerpts from the English translation of Book of Blessings © 1987, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.]
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