Monday, February 04, 2008

Imposition of Ashes question

I have a question for my readers since I get many hits from around the world.

How are ashes imposed upon you?

Here in the United States, the custom is that the priest or minister will dip his thumb in the ashes then mark a cross on your forhead.

It's rather inconsistent as some make a HUGE cross which almost looks like a sniper target on your forehead, while others make a cross so small it just looks like you have a smudge the size of a thumbprint on your forehead so that all day long people tell you that "you've got some dirt or something on your forehead."

I prefer the way they do it in Italy. On Ash Wednesday when I received ashes at Saint Peter's Basilica, they just sprinkle the ashes on top of your head in the form of a cross.

So, just curious if there are any other customs or where the two customs above are used.

And where did the American forehead custom come from?

Anyway, post your country if you reply.



Mac McLernon said...

UK - definitely a big cross on the forehead. But then I cheat... I make sure I go to my PP who does it "properly" rather than to the deacons who tend to be a bit more timid and give you little more than a thumb-print.

Daniel Anselmo said...

Mexico - A cross on the forehead, neither too large or too small.