Can a non catholic participate in Ash Wednesday @ a Catholic Parish?

Personally I was wondering if it was possible for a non-catholic to participate in ash wed. or Lent?

I have a close friend who is deeply interested in becoming Catholic. However, my friend has not yet taken RICA classes,but plans to in the next enrollment cycle.

As a note I am aware that my freind can not accpet the Eurcharist as of yet,but I was asked if one could still attend service on ash wed.,recieve ash and participate in Lent.

Hence, to elaborate on my question, can one who is planning to become catholic still accept the sign of ash on their forhead on ash wed. and also participate in the period of Lent even though they can not recieve the Holy Eurcharist yet?

Yes. Ashes are a sacramental, not a sacrament, and so they can be used by non-Catholics as an aid in their devotion to God.

Yes, there is no problem here at all. The ashes are a “sacramental,” meaning they can be received or used by anyone, Catholic or not. Sacramentals (small “s”) include such things as holy water, rosaries, and prayer cards, as well as ashes. They are intended to bring us closer to God but are not Sacraments in themselves. To receive ashes is similar to receiving a blessing at Mass (though more visible afterward). Infants and young children also regularly receive ashes, though they cannot receive the Eucharist.

Yes. They can. In fact that’s a very good thing to happen because it brings them closer to becoming members of the Church someday.

Anybody, Catholic or not, can receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. The blessed ashes are not a Sacrament, only a sacramental.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel, a friar in the Bronx, NY, often quips that Ash Wednesday services are heavily attended in New York City, where even Jews, Muslims, and non-believers show up in droves to get their ashes.

Yes, if they understand the ashes are symbolic of their intent to do penance during Lent and do not have some magic of their own.

Sacraments contain power within themselves; Sacramentals enhance the prayers of the recipient.

Not only are non-Catholics invited to “be ashed” during the Ash Wednesday liturgy, but they are welcome to attend ANY Catholic Mass, any day. :slight_smile:

I understand non Catholics can receive ashes but can the unbaptized receive ashes?

Yes, for the same reason, to bring them closer to baptism someday.

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