IN PHOTOS: Ash Wednesday 2022, ‘an interior battle of the heart’

IN PHOTOS: Ash Wednesday 2022,  ‘an interior battle of the heart’

TRADITIONAL. A Catholic faithful gets the cross-shaped ash on her forehead in Quezon City.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Lent is a period of spiritual militancy,' says papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown on Ash Wednesday

MANILA, Philippines – After an ease in COVID-19 restrictions, Filipino Catholics once again received cross-shaped ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday, March 2. For the past two years, the Catholic Church had been forced to modify the Ash Wednesday ritual to keep churchgoers safe from COVID-19.

Ash Wednesday is the start of the 40-day Catholic penitential season of Lent, characterized by prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Lent paves the way for the observance of Holy Week, which commemorates the passion and death of Jesus Christ, leading to the celebration of his resurrection on Easter.

“Lent is a period of 40 days of intense spiritual preparation, interior preparation of our hearts, for the glorious celebration of the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ at Easter time,” said Archbishop Charles Brown, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, in a homily at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Church of the Gesù on Ash Wednesday.

“Lent is a period of spiritual militancy, an interior spiritual militancy, an interior battle of the heart, the unseen warfare of our hearts so that our hearts will grow and will be filled with God’s grace,” Brown added.

Here are some of the images from this year’s observance of this Lenten tradition:

A lay minister of Saint Michael the Archangel parish in Bacoor, Cavite, puts cross-shaped ashes on the forehead of a parishioner. Dennis Abrina/Rappler

Hundreds of devotees queue outside the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, Parañaque City, to receive ashes on their foreheads. Rappler

Claretian Missionary priest Father Educ Apungan rings the bell before celebrating Ash Wednesday Mass in UP Village, Quezon City. Angie de Silva/Rappler

Catholics receive ashes on their foreheads outside a church in UP Village, Quezon City. Angie de Silva/Rappler

Nuns hold ashes from palm fronds as they help in the daubing crosses on foreheads of churchgoers, at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Rappler

Father Educ Apungan went around UP Village, Quezon City, to administer ashes to foreheads to residents and passersby. Angie de Silva/Rappler

Running Priest Fr Robert Reyes places ash on people walking in front of the Commission on Election headquarters in Intramuros, Manila, as he urges the poll body to respect the integrity of the elections. Rappler