What Protestant denominations observe Ash Wednesday and Lent?


#1

I’d like to ask my Protestant brethren which of their denominations observe Ash Wednesday and Lent? God Bless all here.


#2

Lutherans and Anglicans pretty much always have. Methodists too to some degree.


#3

[quote=J.R.]I’d like to ask my Protestant brethren which of their denominations observe Ash Wednesday and Lent? God Bless all here.
[/quote]

Anglicans uniformly. I believe it’s pretty much universal among Lutherans as well. In other denominations it really varies. Methodists pretty much always recognize Lent as a season these days, and in my experience they generally have an Ash Wednesday service. Presbyterians and other Reformed denominations have come to embrace Lent more and more, but it’s not universal. More “free church” traditions generally don’t recognize Lent or Ash Wednesday, but they may. For instance, I recently learned of a Wesleyan church in Indiana (the Wesleyans split from the Methodists in the 19th century and are considerably more free church and evangelical) that is celebrating Ash Wednesday. You can even occasionally find Baptists who do. On the whole the practice is spreading.

Edwin


#4

I am guessing that a denomination that preaches once saved always saved feels those who have been converted and accepted Christ have no further need of penance, conversion or sanctification because they are in like flynn, so would not be celebrating Lent. I invite their perspectives.


#5

Edwin,

Not to derail, but I’ve seen the same to be the case with Advent. My wife’s friend attends a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church which observes Advent. I don’t know whether they do anything with Lent though.

For many churches who are coming to an appreciation for the church year calendar and who didn’t before I am not sure they’re quite yet really getting to the nature of these seasons; they treat Lent as the season leading up to Easter and Advent as the season leading up to Christmas but don’t seem to fully embrace the penitential nature of these seasons…

Of course some probably do more than others…in time they will, probably.


#6

Puz,

Even most churches which teach OSAS understand the need for constant repentance and confession and reparation.

The image of a church which teaches that you never have to repent again since Jesus has taken care of all your sins is more a caricature than a reality. Of course there are churches and “teachers” who teach this sort of thing (Bob George, for example) but the ones who do are pretty uniformly considered to be anti-nomian even by other OSAS Christians.


#7

[quote=Steadfast]Edwin,

Not to derail, but I’ve seen the same to be the case with Advent. My wife’s friend attends a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church which observes Advent. I don’t know whether they do anything with Lent though.

For many churches who are coming to an appreciation for the church year calendar and who didn’t before I am not sure they’re quite yet really getting to the nature of these seasons; they treat Lent as the season leading up to Easter and Advent as the season leading up to Christmas but don’t seem to fully embrace the penitential nature of these seasons…

[/quote]

Very true. And that’s one reason why Advent tends to be more popular than Lent–and it’s treated as a kind of pre-Christmas season. One of the big fights between more liturgical and more low-church types is over whether you sing Christmas carols before Christmas itself.

However, the celebration of Ash Wednesday does make the nature of Lent very clear. I’m going to a Methodist Ash Wednesday service this evening.

Edwin


#8

[quote=puzzleannie]I am guessing that a denomination that preaches once saved always saved feels those who have been converted and accepted Christ have no further need of penance, conversion or sanctification because they are in like flynn, so would not be celebrating Lent. I invite their perspectives.
[/quote]

You’re not really being fair to OSAS. They do believe that repentance and continuing sanctification are important. But they either believe that these are inevitable (the more Calvinist position) or that they are optional (a position I agree is genuinely heretical). Many Baptists, especially in the South, distinguish between an active relationship with God (which does require repentance, progress in holiness, use of the means of grace, etc.) and one’s standing as a “saved” person, which depends only on the once-for-all experience of “accepting Christ.”

However, even this really messed-up theology still has a place (if not a sufficiently important place) for repentance and sanctification.

Edwin


#9

Update: Christianity Today’s Weblog has links to several articles about Protestants celebrating Ash Wednesday and Lent.

Edwin


#10

My wife just showed me an article about a Southern Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL that had an interfaith Ash Wednesady service that included a Catholic parish.

I grew up Baptist, and I NEVER knew of any churches that observed the Church Year beyond Christmas and Easter. There’s another Baptist church in town that celebrates Advent.

I found the website for the church that had the Ash Wednesday service and it turns out they are an oddity. Not only are they somewhat liturgical, but they ordain women.


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