Choosing to receive the ashes (Ash Wednesday) in the hand instead of on the forehead

Anybody? :smiley:

This sounds like the beginning of a “then why would you accept communion in the hand” sort of thread. Or am I just being overly suspicious? :cool:

I did! But then I made the Cross on my forehead backwards. Never again!

P.S. clever thread :thumbsup:

Who says that we liturgy wonks can’t have some fun? :wink:

Do the rubrics say that they are received/placed on the head?

And has the Vatican given an indult specifically permitting them to be received in the hand? :stuck_out_tongue:

Do you really think so?

All this talk of “more reverence” is just that.

Matt. 10:1,40 - Jesus declares to His apostles, “he who receives you, receives Me, and he who rejects you, rejects Me and the One who sent Me.” Jesus freely gives His authority to the apostles in order for them to effectively convert the world.


Just thinking … glad Lepanto’s not advocating receiving the Ashes on the tongue at least! :bigyikes:

Bleh!!! :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Forgive me a little tangent…

As a seminarian I assisted in a parish church where the pastor baptized a 16 year old girl. We didn’t run through the liturgy ahead of time, so I wasn’t sure how he was going to pour the water on her – and neither was she. We get to the baptism, and he has her hold her hand over the font while he pours water over the hand! The look on her face was priceless. I wonder if it was a valid baptism…

The canons just refer to ‘washing’, ‘immersion’ or ‘pouring’. They don’t seem to specify a particular body part, if that helps. :shrug:
The Holy Saturday Liturgy begins with the Service of Light, which includes the blessing of the new fire and the Paschal candle which symbolizes Jesus, the light of the World. The second part consists of the Liturgy of the Word with a number of scripture readings. After the Liturgy of the Word, the candidates are presented** to the community, who pray for them and join in the Litany of the Saints. Next, the presider blesses the water, placing the Easter or Paschal candle into the baptismal water. Those seeking baptism then renounce sin and profess their faith after which they are immersed into the baptismal water three times with the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In some situations the water may be poured over the head of each candidate.** After the baptism the newly baptized are dressed in white garments and presented with a candle lighted from the Paschal Candle. They are then confirmed by the priest or bishop who imposes hands on their heads, and invokes the gift of the Holy Spirit. He then anoints them with the oil called Sacred Chrism. The Mass continues with the newly baptized participating in the general intercessions and in bringing gifts to the altar. At Communion, the newly baptized receives the Eucharist, Christ’s body and blood, for the first time.

Yes, the rite specifically says either immersion or pouring over the head of a candidate.

Well that doesn’t mean it’s invalid if done any other way. In case of an emergency baptism without a most of the rite can be dispensed with - including the anointings with oil etc etc. Doesn’t make THOSE baptisms invalid.

I’ve done emergency baptisms, one uses any kind of water…even water from the curb over someone who was pulled from a burning house… and pour over the head using the Trinitarian formula.

When baptizing a child in utero, you can pour the water over anything you can get to, but if it doesn’t wash over the head the baptism is supposed to be repeated conditionally. I would agree that there isn’t any strict requirement of pouring on the head for validity, but I would also say that the Church thought other areas fishy enough to pull out its “just in case” clause. If the head were [currently held to be] necessary for validity, the Church would simply declare other areas invalid, but despite allowing them they still make the Church nervous.


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