MANILA - The Filipino faithful on Ash Wednesday observed minimum health protocols as the season of Lent began amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Priests sprinkled ash on a person's forehead, a practice that began last year following the emergence of the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China.
The faithful can also “be given a small plastic sachet containing blessed ashes that they in turn can impose to their family members, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said in its guidelines for Ash Wednesday.
In Quiapo, several hijos monitor the proceedings outside the church to ensure the laity follow health standards. Churches are allowed to operate at half-capacity in general community quarantine areas.
As Wednesday signals the beginning of the 40-day Lent season, which is marked by intense prayer, fasting, and abstinence as preparations for the great feast of Easter.
--With reports from Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News