Non-catholic celebrating Ash Wednesday

I was raised Roman Catholic until I was 13, after which my family really didn’t do church. After being saved nearly 5 years ago, I started taking ashes on ash Wednesday. I am by no means Catholic at this point (for reasons unimportant here), but it is a tradition I keep, and has meaning to me.

Is Ash Wednesday a purely Catholic tradition? Are there any issues with sticking to it if I do not subscribed to the Catholic tradition anymore?

1 Like

@EvoFaith I believe Scripture teaches that as long as we do something in faith and unto the Lord, then Christ is honored. So whether we keep Ash Wednesday or choose not to keep it, as long as we are serving Christ and honoring Him all is well.

From a rational perspective, it is an instance of the genetic fallacy to say that because something originated in Catholicism it is necessarily wrong. Even if we concluded that Catholicism is seriously misguided in multiple ways, we could not therefore conclude that everything they do is unhelpful to our spiritual growth. Each spiritual practice would need to be evaluated on its own merit and the benefit we find in participating in it, assuming it does not violate any Biblical principles.

Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

Romans 14:5-8 - One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.


@EvoFaith thank you for bringing this important question to Connect. I think @SeanO’s response has hit the nail on the head with his reference to Romans 14:5-8.

I would like to add that like yourself I grew up Catholic, but I felt I had to leave the Catholic church about 10 years ago when I was born again. However, my family and I are currently fasting for Lent and we celebrated Ash Wednesday this week. I think it is a wonderful season which similar to Advent prepares us for a very special season, in this case, Easter. My children found the ashes on their heads to be an interesting experience, as this was their first time.

The scripture that we looked at was Luke 4:1-12. We talked about how Jesus fasted for 40 days and was tempted during this time. We will use the time of Lent to experience this temptation to a lesser degree, yet still relate to Jesus.

To answer your question, I think it is perfectly fine to celebrate Ash Wednesday and Lent even if you are no longer a Catholic. I pray this season brings us all closer to Jesus.


@EvoFaith Ash Wednesday is not a purely Catholic tradition, as many protestant denominations, including Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc. celebrate it. It is important to recognize that Ash Wednesday itself is not established in the bible, but as a tradition I find it valuable (as with the rest of Lent) to use as a time of prayer, fasting, and focusing on Christ.

I was personally raised Lutheran and enjoy attending Ash Wednesday services even though I go to a more contemporary Baptist church that does not celebrate it the rest of the year. I pray that this Lenten season is used by Christ to continue sanctifying you.