Every year, Catholics mark the beginning of Lent by receiving ashes in the shape of a cross on their foreheads at Ash Wednesday Mass.

Instead of foregoing this annual solemn tradition, the Mass was adapted to adhere to coronavirus restrictions.

At St. John Catholic Church on York Street in Bangor, the Mass was livestreamed, with a limited number of parishioners seated separately from one another. The Rev. Frank Murray sprinkled the ashes over the crown of those in attendance to avoid physical contact.

Here’s a look at today’s Mass.

Parishioners sit distantly from one another during Ash Wednesday mass at St. John Catholic Church on York Street in Bangor. Pews were marked as designated seating areas or closed to accommodate social distance. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN
The Rev. Frank Murray sprinkles ashes over a parishioner’s head at St. John Catholic Church on York Street in Bangor. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN
The Rev. Frank Murray speaks during Ash Wednesday Mass at St. John Catholic Church on York Street in Bangor. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN