Ashes among the Protestants
The complaint is sometimes heard that Vatican II and its reforms “Protestantized” the Catholic Church, the liturgy, etc. Not much notice is taken of the degree to which since Vatican II, many Protestant Churches have been “Catholicized.” I was reminded of this this evening when the local TV news showed ashes being distributed today, and the service was being held, not in a Catholic church, but in a ME Zion black church here in DC. If I’m not mistaken, when I was a child, practices like Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday were lumped by many Protestants among those superstitions with which Catholicism practiced “works-righteousness”; both days now have much greater prominence among Protestants, it seems. I have even heard of non-Catholics using the Stations of the Cross.
More significant examples are the keeping of the Sacred Triduum of Holy Week and, above all others, the increased frequency of celebrations of the Lord’s Supper, which in many Protestant churches once were quite rare, even as rare as only four times a year.