SPLIT: Interfaith Ash Wednesday Service

Well it just got over and it was well received. We had as a guest Immanuel Baptist Church and they sang as no other African Americans can. Pastor Prude, yes that is his real name. He put ashes on our priest and our priest put ashes on him. I t lasted a good hour and a half with lots of reading and the pastor preached on the storms of life and through it all say “I believe in God” . The music was good and got us all clapping our hands. It wasn’t a mass with communion but had all the unity of prayer and worship.:slight_smile: and distributing of ashes as there were a lot of people.

While I am happy that you found your exprience enjoyable, there are some huge red flags here. The service should have followed what the Church prescribes regarding the distribution of the ashes outside of Mass. Three readings, and the psalm, are suppoed to have been done. These come from the readings for the Ash Wednesday Mass. As I indicated earlier, this should have taken the format found in the Roman Missal. The Church grants us some creativity regarding reading choices and the texts for the propers during Ordinary Time, but, not during Lent.

Furthermore, I do not think that the Baptist Pastor should have been preaching. Even though this is not the Mass, it is still s liturgy.

This is what Redemptionis Sacramentum notes:

63.] Within the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, the reading of the Gospel, which is “the high point of the Liturgy of the Word”,139 is reserved by the Church’s tradition to an ordained minister.140 Thus it is not permitted for a layperson, even a religious, to proclaim the Gospel reading in the celebration of Holy Mass, nor in other cases in which the norms do not explicitly permit it.141

[64.] The homily, which is given in the course of the celebration of Holy Mass and is a part of the Liturgy itself,142 “should ordinarily be given by the Priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating Priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to a Deacon, but never to a layperson.143 In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a Priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate”.144

[65.] It should be borne in mind that any previous norm that may have admitted non-ordained faithful to give the homily during the Eucharistic celebration is to be considered abrogated by the norm of canon 767 §1.145 This practice is reprobated, so that it cannot be permitted to attain the force of custom.

[66.] The prohibition of the admission of laypersons to preach within the Mass applies also to seminarians, students of theological disciplines, and those who have assumed the function of those known as “pastoral assistants”; nor is there to be any exception for any other kind of layperson, or group, or community, or association.146

While it wasn’t the Mass, it still should have followed the rubrics for a Liturgy of the Word service which should be presided over by the priest or a deacon. Only they should be the ones preaching.

Furthermore, the clapping is a little bit much because we are entering a penitential season, one of the most sacred times of the year. The choir should have been given paramters so as to realize that for Catholics, this is something very differernt.

Does this document abrogate 1993’s DIRECTORY FOR THE APPLICATION OF PRINCIPALS AND NORMS ON ECUMENISM articles 118 & 135 which specifically allows Catholics to read and preach in non-Catholic churches if invited and non-Catholics to do readings and preach in a non-Eucharistic service at a Catholic Church if invited.

I’m sorry I have not gotten back to my computer for awhile. I did not really explain all enough. Our priest was there had a sash on. He started it but yes it was missing some things and was not intended to be a complete liturgy. There were three readings, our group did this, and psalm, and this, and then a reading from the gospel, and this. The pastor also read some gospel and then preached but our priest was prosiding for it all. Our priest then asked us all to join in the Our Father. And the pastor led us in song like we are one in family which led to shaking of hands and greeting. Our priest finished but not a procession or blessing which he did not start it out with ither. The pastor started it with a prayer. It was bare bones but our priest really goes by the book.
The pastor was weak after the preaching and could not finish the distribution of ashes so our members finished., and our priest. He was still weak and sat in a chair in the Narthex. :blush: Hope and pray he is ok. They have been coming to our church for 8 years and he is elderly. Their choir was led by their own group and the pastor’s wife. Yes a lot of clapping for the songs and it was so loud but it was pretty informal and our priest made sure all went ok. I agree it wasn’t very penitential as it was more like a resurrection Sunday, but you know they all sing like that. They did sing one quiet song. When our priest spoke of it coming up he reminded us it would not be a Mass. If this is so important why doesn’t anyone come? We have a congregation of 1000 and no more than a hundred of our people were there and there were 400 of the noncatholics is this just a novelty thing for them? But our school children were brought over during the day. There is something wrong with this picture that the adults do not show a good example. Our priest is very good at directing the school and has the children brought over for adoration about once a month taking turns with the grades and now he is leading the stations once a week with them a grade at a time and he also leads the rosary on occasion. I believe our bishop has been wanting our priests to concentrate on the youth.

With the new changes from Pope Benedict XVI I’m not sure if things like this will continue. We are a cluster now and there were people against having this sort of thing done.I noticed that really not many from our congregation were there. But then I think many don’t do ashes anymore. Too bad. Our choir used to get together with Faith Lutheran and sing taking turns at each other Churches for a spring sing. Buttttt! This past week we joined with our cluster to do a concert at one of ours. Some are asking no more Faith Lutheran? Are they wannabe Catholics. I got into a discussion with a friend and she said there is no such thing. Either you are or not join or not no middle road. So I gently tell my friends that I am busy with my Church and have so much to do. and believe me this is true there is a lot to do.

Our priest was there had a sash on. He started it but yes it was missing some things and was not intended to be a complete liturgy.

There is no such liturgical garment as “sash”.

Are you trying to say “stole”?

Yes I believe I with many colors.

Is this a parody? Was he wearing a cheese on his head too? :rolleyes:

This service was started about 8 years ago by more liberal priest who was in our parish, I wasn’t there yet. I suppose it was an ecumenical group thing. Our priest has been with us for 6 years so he inherited it. :shrug: The pastor spoke well but we have had visiting speakers at groups I have been to and more often than I care to say a word or two is spoken indirectly that we are not on the right path, like it is there chance to save us from our fate, so it is not really very fruitful IMHO . It would have been just plain awful if the pastor had died.:eek: I was sitting in my pew praying really hard very hard please God not here. This may sound selfish but he was very pale looking you know for a very dark person, they were all dark no mix in this group. I used to be a CNA, well once you are one you learn to recognize the signs of heart attack. :shrug:
Anyways God is good, I hope his family is allright, he had a son next to him mostly the entire time.
Do you think our Pope is good with prayer services? Of Interfaith? Doesn’t this seem to be the way he is going?
:thumbsup: I was very glad our priest said the Our Father at the service but he left out the deliver us from anxiety part. And he never made the sign but then I just watched him and followed whatever he said, ah I admit I was nervous first time witnessing this and prayed for my priest too. God bless him :slight_smile:

Very funny no but will try to find a picture of it :slight_smile:

Give me a break?! Watering down of our liturgy… Do you know the best way to get rid of the faithful? Start playing games with the liturgy!!!

I’m sure you have seen this, like one of these the first two .

globalconnections-int.com/clerical_stoles.htm

Isn’t that a contradiciton if they are faithful they will stay around and support our priest. If he is trying to follow the rules and the bishop.

Your Priest was wearing a stole? Are you sure he wasn’t a Deacon?

It seems pretty clear that RS only discusses Mass and Eucharistic (and other liturgical) celebrations outside Mass. This doesn’t seem to fit into any description of formal liturgy. It wasn’t a formal liturgy of the word, nor a Communion Service outside Mass, nor Mass. :shrug:

I find the ‘clapping’ a little offputting as well - it’s Ash Wednesday, a penitential day - and a suitably penitential attitude is called for, not celebration.

That’s because ‘clapping’ is not a normal part of our Catholic worship. But it is part and parcel of the normal worship for that particular Baptist congregation. It’s not partying but their way of celebrating God and his love for us. As such, while my worship is a lot more restrained and undemonstrative, I find nothing off-putting in the way other Churches pray.

I never said it was ‘partying’, but there’s nothing celebratory about Ash Wednesday, it’s a day of deepest mourning for our sins.

Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time to mourn, and Our Lord said ‘Blessed are those who mourn’. If there’s ever a time mourning is appropriate - and when mourning is the ONLY appropriate thing - apart from Good Friday - it’s Ash Wednesday.

It’s not a matter of ‘the way other churches pray’, it’s a matter of universally applicable standards of appropriateness. Just like wearing immodest clothing would be wrong in any church on any occasion, so ‘celebrating’ is inappropriate in ANY church that chooses to acknowledge Ash Wednesday.

Just like mourning itself would be utterly inappropriate on Easter when we celebrate the Resurrection, so is ‘celebration’ inappropriate on Ash Wednesday.

Why bother to acknowledge such days of penance at all if their meaning is to be totally negated in this way?

He is a priest. But we do also have a deacon. But that brings up a good question. A priest goes through a deaconship on to being a priest, this is what I understand? So they are a deacon also. I suppose he felt like a deacon at the time of the service. He made a comment that during his time of Catholic, also mine, this sort of service would never have happened. Times have changed, it seems people take advantage, of the changes.

He wore the stole, with just the servant gown, last night while leading during stations, we have soup (meatless), and stations every friday now, till Holy Thursday. There are some in our Church that complain that he wants to do everything and doesn’t let anyone else lead. This is true but I see him as a leader and he speaks out.

I didn’t see any non-C’s there at the stations:rolleyes:

And we had about 30 people. :blush: Well Jesus only had twelve so the numbers don’t really make much of a difference to me. What can you do?

He wore the stole, with just the servant gown

Are you trying to say alb or surplice?

He wore a white surplice over a white dress with the lace. And the stole. I’m really just learning all the names of all the dress.

I got to watch the telecast of the Papal Ash Wednesday Mass (with imposition of ashes) and there was certainly no clapping there. In fact, the organ was silent and the music took on a more solemn tone.

The problem, as I see it, with this mismatched services is that I am afraid that many of these Protestant ecclesial communities do not have the same sense of penitence as we do. As you rightly noted, there is a time and a place for everything. Incidentally, there are only two days of fasting and abstinence in Lent, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

If you want joy, wait for the Easter Vigil. The Church unleashes all of her joy during the majestic celebration of Easter, not before it.

As for the priest and the stole, he should have worn purple, not a multi-colored version. He should have either been vested in a purple cope with alb and stole or in choir dress with a purple stole. He should not have worn the white surplice over the white alb; that does not make sense. Choir dress is where the priest wears a black cassock, a shorter garment called the surplice (usually overlaid with lace) and the stole.

Ecumenism does should not mean that we have to sell out our liturgical practices and bend them over backwards to accommodate our guests. When the Holy Father holds the ecumenical prayer services, such as the Vespers, these are done as the Church mandates them to be celebrated. Even what he did in New York still followed the Church norms. In fact, at these gatherings, he is the one who preaches; the Orthodox, the Protestant ecclesial communities and the non-Christian religions are guests. They pray with the Church, but that is the extent of their participation.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.