The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued the following NOTE on January 12, 2021, (Prot. N 17/21), providing the rite for the “Distribution of Ashes in Time of Pandemic:”
“The Priest says the prayer for blessing the ashes. He sprinkles the ashes with holy water, without saying anything. Then he addresses all those present and only once says the formula as it appears in the Roman Missal, applying it to all in general: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel”, or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.
“The Priest then cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask and distributes the ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places. The Priest takes the ashes and sprinkles them on the head of each one without saying anything.”
Thus, as the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has competency in this matter, this is the method that is to be used in the Diocese of Rochester for the Distribution of Ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021.