Archbishop Vigneron Marks Ash Wednesday With COVID-Safe Downtown Mass

Photo:  Archdiocese of Detroit

DETROIT, February 17, 2021 ~ Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, a liturgical season of prayer, penance, and almsgiving in preparation for Easter.

To mark the local Catholic Church’s observance of Ash Wednesday, Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron was the celebrant and homilist at a Mass held at St. Aloysius Church in Downtown Detroit.

As a COVID-19 safety precaution, the usual practice of making the sign of the cross in ash on parishioners’ foreheads was replaced with a sprinkling of ash on their heads.  Though not typical, this ancient method of ash sprinkling is actually still common in many parts of the world today.

A recording of the service is now available at


February 17, 2021 ~ Archdiocese of Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron tells Paul W. that due to COVID-19, ashes will be distributed a bit differently this year.