Ash Wednesday and the PCA

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bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Can some of the PCA brothers here help me out?

I was looking at the website of a PCA church near me here in southern California and noticed that it and a couple of other congregations are going to have an Ash Wednesday service.

Is this a thing in the PCA? I thought Ash Wednesday, Lent, etc. were strictly Roman Catholic practices.

Thanks in advance.
 
Do one part of the old pretended holy days, why not the rest? Those that do up Easter and Christmas like they are special ecclesiastical holy days have no moral authority to complain about those that have gone beyond them to do others.
 
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Can some of the PCA brothers here help me out?

I was looking at the website of a PCA church near me here in southern California and noticed that it and a couple of other congregations are going to have an Ash Wednesday service.

Is this a thing in the PCA? I thought Ash Wednesday, Lent, etc. were strictly Roman Catholic practices.

Thanks in advance.
I'm PCA, and I've never known about any ash, or lent services in our assembly. I would be inclined to think it is one of those things that occurs in regional pockets, here and there.
 
This is a good article on how ashes have been used in Anglicanism:

The long and short of the answer is that some Elders in the PCA are more Anglican than Presbyterian, and by Anglican, I don't even mean of the original Reformation sort. It's not a bad idea to study the history of different movements in Anglicanism to see how movements infect other bodies. I think many of the Missional are attracted to the way in which Anglicanism styles itself as just Apostolic Christianity. They are often more studied in what others think than what their own Confessional tradition teaches. They're like a young couple who decides to get married and gets a book on liturgies and decides to take a little bit from every tradition to fashion one for themselves. Finally, as with other Anglican movements in the past, they see the way to capture something ancient is not in a reference to simple, Biblical thinking but ritual itself.
 
A lot of mainline Presbyterians have been practicing the lectionary and church calendar for a while, and the average PC(USA) church you walk into will have the liturgical colors and follow to some extent the Revised Common Lectionary. Many ARP churches do this as well, which is not too surprising if you know the ARP church got quite close to the mainline PCUS for a while. Recent escapees from the mainline (especially EPC and ECO churches, but some PCA churches) fall into this category as well. There are also newer, more hip PCA churches that seem to think the way to have cool, old traditions is to look to the mainline or the Roman Catholics rather than Presbyterian history.

Ash Wednesday and Lent seem to get more ire than other parts of the church calendar, but I've noticed even a lot of otherwise conservative churches that practice Advent and other parts of the church calendar. A lot of churches which have the church calendar in some ways ignore Ash Wednesday and Lent, for the most part.
 
It's definitely a thing, unfortunately.
They are often more studied in what others think than what their own Confessional tradition teaches. They're like a young couple who decides to get married and gets a book on liturgies and decides to take a little bit from every tradition to fashion one for themselves.
It sure has this sense to it. Virtually no one dabbling in Anglicanism, ironically aside from the hardcore prayer book types inside Anglicanism who aren't dabbling, isn't just playing pick and choose or attaching some sentimentality to it. You don't see people just lining up to hold a Commination service without ashes for example. Instead its some cute Lent fast from X or Lent worship series.
 
A lot of mainline Presbyterians have been practicing the lectionary and church calendar for a while, and the average PC(USA) church you walk into will have the liturgical colors and follow to some extent the Revised Common Lectionary. Many ARP churches do this as well, which is not too surprising if you know the ARP church got quite close to the mainline PCUS for a while. Recent escapees from the mainline (especially EPC and ECO churches, but some PCA churches) fall into this category as well. There are also newer, more hip PCA churches that seem to think the way to have cool, old traditions is to look to the mainline or the Roman Catholics rather than Presbyterian history.

Ash Wednesday and Lent seem to get more ire than other parts of the church calendar, but I've noticed even a lot of otherwise conservative churches that practice Advent and other parts of the church calendar. A lot of churches which have the church calendar in some ways ignore Ash Wednesday and Lent, for the most part.
I was at a PCA last year that was going Advent and lighting candles. I thought I walked into a Lutheran service.
 
Yeah, I don't think this is new. The first PCA church I joined about 15 years ago (a missional plant that's since moved into the EPC) held Ash Wednesday services, was big into Lent, and used BCP eucharistic prayers most Sundays. As I was seeking distance from my Episcopal Church past at that point, it was distressing to me. The next one I was a member of only did Advent candles for a number of years, but had gotten into Lenten observance (at least in the "theming" of services) in our last few years there. Our present congregation is blessedly free of such things.

My layman's perception is that it comes from a desire to feel connected to "history" and "tradition," while lacking a deep understanding of why Presbyterianism rejected these things out of conviction.
 
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