A Pray Tell reader sends in something from the parish bulletin:
Because the blessed ashes imposed on the forehead symbolize our mortality and call us to repent of sinfulness, in addition to the adults, ashes will be given only to children who are old enough to have received the sacrament of reconciliation. The Church does not recognize the child’s ability deliberately to commit sin that is in need of repentance until the age of ‘reason’ (age 7).
There’s a certain logic to that. But I predict it won’t go over with the parents very well. And I wonder if there isn’t a case to be made for the ‘pre-reason’ tykes receiving ashes just to habituate them in the ritual practice, with intellectual understanding coming later.
What do you think?