I read another article earlier in the week about a Catholic and Baptist community that come together each year to celebrate Ash Wednesday. Have any of you experienced this in your parish or nearby community?
It would have been great if the modern , non-mainline Protestant churches had held onto some of the meaningful Reformation/ post-Reformation traditions— like recitation of the Apostles’ Creed, the Gloria Patri, the doxology, hymns written before the 80’s and a choir instead of wannabe rockers up front, but all that has been kicked to the curb. Lenten liturgy, etc, forget it.
If it’s not in the Bible, how can it be a “biblical thing”?
I suppose to some Lenten fasting and repentence is actually a vain work and a denial that Christ’s work is finished. His justice and righteousness covers us letting God see the cleanliness of Christ instead of our sins. We can never truly be made clean. So practices such as this are wasteful and useless. It is a feel good exercise nothing more. The limit should be to ask for forgiveness for our sins. Anything else is extrabiblical and borders on idolatry.
Actually, I have a friend who is Russian Orthodox and in the current practice, we’re pikers in comparison. There’s a lot we’ve lost in the “modernizing” of the Church.
We also picked up some non-Catholics customs I remember from childhood.
Protestant friends kept poor boxes with them and dropped small change into them when they denied themselves candy or a treat.
The boxes were collected by their Sunday school teachers on Easter and the money sent to the needy.
Our church has something similar now with children giving their change from self-denied treats to Project Rice Bowl. Nice.
Teaches them a lot about self-denial, the needs of others, penitence, and ties in with Christ’s temptations.
Baptists are part of a general "primitive church" movement which acknowledges the truth that the first-generation church, as constituted directly under Christ, was necessarily inerrant and that the fruit of the early church fell not far from that tree. This is why Baptists are interested in the earliest Christian adaptations of Jewish tradition, in this case Passover.
For Catholics to lay claim to the early church from which we all derive makes as much sense as a child pressing a claim to superior ownership of his siblings parents.
It’s very sad to say but where I live, the non-Catholic churches aren’t too kind or receptive to us Catholics. In fact, I’ve encountered many who are as hostile as certain FReepers. And, as usual, their thoughts/opinions are based on pure ignorance; they’ll just never see or admit that.
I wear a crucifix at all times, so I am subject to ridicule at work & in my social life since I am easily identified as one of “those Catholics”. But I really don’t care. And my 3 year old proudly wears her scapular & crucifix, too. We get some looks but I hope someday those things will serve as a precursor to some intellectually honest discussion about the Church.
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**In recent years there have been a flurry of news articles prior to Lent, Holy Week, and Advent about how various Protestant groups and denominations have “discovered” that Catholic and Orthodox beliefs about the liturgical year are not nearly as “unbiblical” as many non-Catholics thought. Quite the contrary, as this Associated Baptist Press piece explains (ht: National Catholic Register):**
Are other denominations waking up to the truth?
When I was Protestant, we always observed Lent. I don’t remember the details of how the various congregations (either Congregational or Presbyterian) observed Lent, because Sunday School was held during the adult worship services. However, in Sunday School, we always discussed Lent, talked about giving things up, and did works of service to others.
May this special united for ALL Christian churches Lent 2011 by both the grace and help of the Lord bring ALL Christians to full unity. Amen
John Chapter 17.