This coming Wednesday, March 1, is Ash Wednesday. We Presbyterians are late-comers to marking the day, and we still don’t do much with Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday. We sometimes join our Anglican friends for a Pancake Supper the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, but are never sure exactly why we are doing so.
There is no explicit Biblical warrant for a season of penitence prior to Easter or for that season to begin with the imposition of ashes on our foreheads. The lack of Biblical warrant was enough for our Reformed fathers and mothers to reject the observance of Lent, and Ash Wednesday as its beginning.
It took a long time for Presbyterians, especially those of us with a little Covenanter and Seceder blood running through our veins, to find some value in the disciplines of Lent and of Ash Wednesday, in particular.
On Wednesday, forty days, excluding Sundays, before Easter, we Presbyterians will gather for an evening Communion service in the Sanctuary. Continue reading