Follow usTwitterFacebook

Latest

26 Aug 2016 Uncategorized No comments

Cafod praises historic peace deal between Colombia and rebel fighters

A peace deal has been reached in Colombia which will see the end to the longest internal armed conflict in the western hemisphere The aid agency Cafod has welc…

Read more

02 Nov 2016 News No comments

Catholics and Lutherans must ‘move beyond controversies of the past’, says Pope Francis

Francis was speaking at a service to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation Pope Francis urged Catholics and Lutherans to take decisive steps…

Read more

18 May 2016 Americas Australia Europe Middle East Middle East - Africa News United Kingdom USA Vatican Comments (1)

Muslims must rescue themselves from extremists - Bishop Kukah says

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria, said Islam “has to rescue itself from extremists.” The bishop made the comments in an interview with Catholic…

Read more

14 Jul 2016 Europe News United Kingdom USA Vatican No comments

Heythrop confirms there will be no merger with Roehampton University

A proposed merger between Heythrop College and Roehampton University will now not go ahead, it emerged this week. The Society of Jesus, which runs the colleg…

Read more

14 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

NJ archbishop sets strict rules barring Catholics from the sacraments

ROME — Even as Pope Francis and Catholic leaders from around the world debate ways to make the Catholic Church more inclusive, Newark Archbishop John Myers has …

Read more

12 Oct 2015 Articles No comments

On the Feast of Blessed John Henry Newman raise a glass to Pius X

We must not forget the anti-modernists who saved Newman's reputation St Pius X, a pope not normally known for his humour, once wrote of Cardinal Newman: ‘Truly…

Read more

03 Sep 2015 Middle East News No comments

Patriarch pleads for young Christians to stay in Syria, Iraq

In an open letter to young Catholics, Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham has pleaded for an end to a “tsunami” of emigration. “The almost communal …

Read more

17 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Pope asks cardinals to review how the Church vets future bishops

Council of Cardinals will study the way the Church identifies and appoints bishops Pope Francis has asked his international Council of Cardinals to study the…

Read more

16 Sep 2015 Articles Comments (7)

The origin of the Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross which follow the path of Christ from Pontius Pilate’s praetorium to Christ’s tomb have been a popular devotion in parishes, especially…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

I received ashes on Ash Wednesday, but my two-year-old son did not. Instead he was given a blessing. Is this a new practice?

Full Question

I received ashes on Ash Wednesday, but my two-year-old son did not. Instead he was given a blessing. Is this a new practice?

Answer

Some think that blessed ashes should only be given to those capable of personal sin and so do not give them to children below the age of reason. This is a misunderstanding of the sacramental. The blessed ashes remind us of our mortality (e.g., the traditional words of imposition are “Remember, man, that you are dust and to dust you shall return”) and of our common sinful condition, shared through original sin even by those incapable of personal sin (e.g., young children, the cognitively disabled).

If this should happen again on future Ash Wednesdays, politely ask that ashes be given to your son. If you get argument, you might point out that, “Today’s reading from Joel says that ‘children, even nursing infants’ (2:16) are to be included in the communal penance.”











6 comments

  1. nicolemarie007 Reply

    If it was a eucharistic minister then that is the reason your child didn’t get the ashes. The eucharistic minister was probably inexperienced.

    1. Alexander Reply

      Ashes is a just a man established tradition that has nothing to do with salvation or forgiveness of sin and is not a teaching in the gospel therefore this is a dogma practice based on worldly pegan worship don’t be fooled Follow Jesus, not man. (Spiritual)

  2. Corazon Galano Reply

    The blessing of small children instead of giving them ashes is not a new practice. The distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday is not a meaningless ritual. It serves to remind us to repent of our sins and turn back to God. And for many years now, as the ashes are placed on our forehead in the form of a cross, the priest now says: “Turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel”. To give it to small children who are sinless would result in a meaningless ritual. Even the old words “Remember that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return” would still result in a meaningless ritual when ashes are given to small children. To give them a blessing instead is full of meaning and reiterates that they are loved by God.

  3. Deacon Ray Reply

    Please request your pastor to educate his Eucharistic Ministers if this was done by one or if a priest let the bishop know and set him straight,

  4. Milton Marini Reply

    Whatever happened to “Turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel”, which summarizes the whole purpose of Lent? In that context giving the child a blessing makes perfect sense.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories