Virus alert: Church tweaks Ash Wednesday practice

first_imgOn Feb. 20 CBCP issued liturgical guidelines addressed to allbishops and diocesan administrators vis-à-vis the COVID-19 threat. He also urged the faithful to “include in our prayers thoseaffected by the virus and that a preventive and healing cure may be found.” “In praying we invite ourselves withall our brothers and sisters suffering from the disease brought by this virus,bring up to God our longing for them to be restored to full health and humblypray that we may be spared from infection of this virus,” stated CBCP./PN “May our celebration of Lent and the Passion, Death andResurrection of our Lord bring us interior and heartfelt movement of grace,”according to Lazo. This was recommended by the Catholic Bishops Conference of thePhilippines (CBCP), according to Jaro Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo in a circular. For today’s traditional observance of Ash Wednesday, churchesunder the diocese would be sprinkling or dropping small portions of blessed ashon the crown of the faithful’s head instead of the marking the forehead with across using the ash. “As we begin the season of Lent, we are reminded of the constantcall for renewal in our Christian life by self-control (fasting andabstinence), generosity and charity (almsgiving) and prayer. Our charity is alsoexpressed in our concern for the well-being of our brothers and sisters, thusour utmost care and efforts towards the prevention of the spread of COVID-19,”according to Valles. “In Baptism, we have been anointed on the crown of the head. Theashes to be imposed on the crown signify our repentance from sin, which hasmarred the grace of Baptism. (The ash sprinkling) is not an innovation but inaccord with the ancient practice of the Church,” according to CBCP presidentArchbishop Romulo Valles. In Circular No. 20-05, CBCP alsostated that communions must be placed on the hands instead of putting it in themouths of the faithful. ‘YOU ARE DUST, AND TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN’ Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made man. As the priest or lay minister applies the ashes to a person’s forehead, he speaks the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN Father Angelo Colada, director forSocial Communications of the Archdiocese of Jaro, said these guidelines werethe Church’s answer to the Department of Health’s appeal for all sectors totake precautionary measures against COVID-19.center_img Regarding the Good Friday practice of venerating the cross, hestated, “…we strongly recommend…that the faithful refrain from kissing ortouching the cross…Instead the faithful are requested to genuflect or make aprofound bow…” ILOILO City – Due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19), the Archdiocese of Jaro is taking precautionary measures. Then on Good Friday, April 10, the traditional kissing of thecross won’t be practiced, according to Lazo. The faithful are insteadencouraged to genuflect in front of the cross. On Jan. 29 the CBCP issued an oratorio imperata or obligatory prayeragainst the COVID-19. All churches were called on to pray the oratioin “all weekday and Sunday masses, after the Holy Communion, kneeling down.” Ash Wednesday is the start of the 40-day Lenten season. “The communion in the hand bepracticed ordinarily to help prevent further fear from people who arereasonably cautious about this matter,” a part of the guidelines read. Churches were also reminded to alwaysensure that the holy water in their stoups is clean, and provide/installprotective cloth in on the grills of confessionals. Likewise, the faithful were advised torefrain from holding hands while singing “Our Father” and shaking handsduring the portion in the Mass where the congregation makes the sign of peaceto one another. The ashes, which are mixed with holy water or oil, are made byburning Palm Sunday leaves from the previous year.last_img read more

Counselor Henries’ Erudite and Timely Admonition

first_imgCounselor George E. Henries is truly in many ways the son of his father, the outstanding lawyer and long serving Speaker of the House of Representatives, Richard Abrom Henries.Like his father, George was serious-minded and studious and went on to be a well trained lawyer.  He, of course, received far better legal training than his father, who attained his by the apprenticeship method.  But so did most of the nation’s eminent lawyers, including Chief Justice J.J. Dossen and may others before him.  So did President Arthur Barclay, his son, Associate Justice Anthony Barclay, President Edwin Barclay, former Attorney General and later Chief Justice Louis Arthur Grimes, Edwin and Louis Arthur’s classmate, the historian Abayomi Karnga, former Speaker of the House Benjamin Greene Freeman, former Vice President Clarence Lorenzo Simpson, former Senator, Associate Justice and later President W.V.S. Tubman, former Associate Justice O. Natty B. Davies, former Attorney General, Counselor Nete Sie Brownell, former Solicitor General, Counselor S. Raymond Horace, former Attorney General and Chief Justice James A.A. Pierre and many others.  All of these great lawyers apprenticed under legal luminaries before them.  It was not until the birth of the University of Liberia’s Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law that it became mandatory to hold a law degree before practicing law in Liberia.Following his graduation from the College of West Africa in 1956, George entered the University of Liberia andlater obtained his Bachelor’s in Canada before matriculating to the Cornell University Law School, where he qualified, in a far superior setting, in the profession of his father.  Cornell is one of America’s top ten universities.Upon his return he was appointed Assistant Attorney General and later as Supreme Court Associate Justice.  He remained in that profession until the 1980 coup d’état when, like most other government officials, he was imprisoned.  He reopened his law firm in 1984.  At the outbreak of the civil war in 1989-90, Cllr. Henries traveled with his family to the United States where he served as an international lawyer.  Before his departure, Head of State Doe invited him back to the Supreme Court as Associate Justice, but he respectfully declined.In 2009 he returned home as full time C.E.O. of the firm, while also serving, from 2005, again in the footsteps of his beloved father, as grandmaster of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, a position which his father had held years earlier.But this editorial is not intended as a eulogy to Counselor Henries—far from it.  We, however, did think it was necessary to give a little historical background, to explain why we thought he was right man to say the right thing to the right people, at the right time and in the right place—his own law firm!  For they say charity, like most other virtues, begins at home.  And what did Counselor Henries say?  He admonished  his legal colleagues—not only those at his law firm, but all  Liberian lawyers—to be professional and ethical in the practice of their noble profession.Addressing his staff at the firm’s yearend party last Friday,  Cllr. Henries uttered this lamentation: “There is public fear about lawyers amid the poor justice system in Liberia.  This fear is riddled with accusations that lawyers receive money and bribe judges to turn justice against the righteous and justify the evildoers.”       Cautioning the lawyers working for him at his 70 year-old law firm, probably the longest surviving in the nation’s history, Counselor Henries strongly warned them against “unprofessional and unethical practices.  By conducting yourselves professionally and building trust in your clients,” he told them, “the clients will in turn seek after you, instead of you lawyers running after clients.”A leading Liberian banker recently made this remark: “Liberia has plenty of highly educated people—‘book people’—but there are two things missing among Liberian professionals today: first, competence; and second, confidence, which is always based on one’s capacity to stand for principle.” That was what Cllr. Henries was talking about—lawyers who will not enter the trenches of legal malpractice, but live above the fog by sticking to the professional and ethical principles of the trade.We pray that all lawyers—those working for him and all others—will heed Counselor Henries’ erudite advice and in so doing, elevate the legal profession to the level where it ought to be, the envy of all professions.     Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more