Ash Wednesday service

Ash Wednesday is a day of solemn assembly that is built right into the church year. It is a fast day, a day of mourning for our sin and the sin of all humanity before God, a recognition of our mortality save for the grace of God and a request that the Lord remember our creation and breathe new life into our burned-out, dusty lives once more.

See related pages: Ash Wednesday, Season of Lent, Presbyterian Worship

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  1. Resources for Ash Wednesday have been in official PC(USA) worship books since 1966, beginning with the Book of Common Worship Provisional Services. The 1993 Book of Common Worship was the first to provide the option of imposing ashes, with specific guidance for doing so. One of the gifts of the Reformed tradition is the freedom to adopt or adapt such practices of the larger/ecumenical church, or to refrain from doing so. In recent decades, it seems that many Presbyterian congregations have found this tradition a helpful way to call members to a renewed sense of spiritual discipline and Christian discipleship -- the way of life to which we are called not only in Lent, but throughout the year.

    by David Gambrell

    March 5, 2014

  2. Why did the Presbyterian Church start recognizing Ash Wednesday, along with marking congregation members with ash crossed upon their head? I never heard of it til recently as we were taught that it was a papal practice.

    by Laurie MacTaggart

    March 5, 2014

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