Sabah churches take precaution

Safety first: Church wardens and the priest sprinkling ash on devotees’ heads during Ash Wednesday mass in Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: Catholics worldwide observed Ash Wednesday but due to fear of the Covid-19 outbreak, churches in Sabah took a safer approach by only sprinkling ashes on believers’ heads.

As per practice in Sabah and many other countries worldwide, an important part of Ash Wednesday is to go to mass and then have the priest or church wardens make the sign of the cross with ash on the foreheads of believers.

According to Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish priest Father Paul Lo, the move was to reduce the risk of spreading diseases as there would be no physical contact.

It has also stopped providing holy water at the church or chapel entrances for the time being.

Reminders are issued every week in the church bulletin about these new rules and various other safety measures.

Among others, Ash Wednesday reminds believers to repent and devote their lives back to God.

It also marks the beginning of Lent (a 40-day fasting and season of abstinence), the run-up to Easter.

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