Thursday, February 22, 2007

For You Are Dust and to Dust You Shall Return

Last night, we had our Ash Wednesday service. It was a powerful and important start to Lent. I offered ashes to those who wanted them before and after the service in my office. For me personally, to not have ashes on Ash Wednesday was to miss something important. I grew up as a pastor's kid. My dad, a Lutheran pastor, always used the imposition of ashes. So, I got used to it. In the minds of many, the imposition of ashes are "too Roman." That is unfortunate because there are numerous things that we share in common, especially when it comes to worship practices, with our Roman brothers, i.e. the Liturgy, vestments, church architecture, Communion ware, just to name a few. Receiving ashes is not mandatory; but, I believe that those who received them were reminded in a powerful way that, "they are dust and to dust they shall return." We are mortal and will one day turn to ashes; and yet, on the Last Day, Christ will come and raise those ashes to be a glorified body. God bless.


At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have this misperception that it is a Catholic practice. It actually goes back to the ancient Christian church.

I started the imposition of ashes at our church. The pastor at the time was for it. The subsequent vacancy pastor approved of and continued it.

Subsequent to the vacancy being filled, some parishoners complained to the new pastor and he put an end to it.

When we did practice it, those that complained had the choice to participate or not. Now, no one has a choice.

At 12:22 AM, Blogger stjohnstrongs said...

Thank you for your response. It is unfortunate that the imposition of ashes was discontinued at your church. If a practice is helpful for many in the congregation and has precedent in the history of the church, no one has the right to allow their own personal preferences to override everything. I pray that your current pastor will reconsider. God bless.


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