Good questions about Ash Wednesday!
Usually, if I remember correctly (I know it's only been a year for me, but you know, peri-menopausal brain
), the Mass is pretty much the same as always, with the addition of the imposition of the ashes. After the priest's homily, there is the ashes, everyone files up as if for Communion, to receive them. Then, the priest/deacons/etc. wash their hands (thumb), and the Mass continues.
(with info from Catholic Answers Forum)
We don't have to say anything when we receive them.
A collection would depend on the Parish. I always go with the school kids where I work, so we don't have one.
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.
How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ‘Tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.
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