It's been five years now that our congregation has been observing Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season. Although our noontime service is rather brief (30 min.), those who attend always find it to be thought-provoking and personally meaningful, including the imposition of ashes.
There have also been a number of other, older, faith-practices which we have introduced into our weekly worship gatherings. Praying ancient common prayers together, standing for the reading of Word, and reciting the Nicene and Apostle's Creeds are among these.
Despite the fact that many Protestant groups have long incorporated practices like these into their respective liturgies and services, people in our congregation repeatedly encounter folks who say to them, "isn't that Catholic?"
What's behind that?!?
Is it simply the ignorance of Evangelical believers (I've never heard a Lutheran or Episcopalian say this)? Or does the practice betray something deeper? One thing I'm thinking of is how much "Catholic-bashing" has taken place within some evangelical denominations in recent decades (e.g. Calvary Chapels and Southern Baptists), leading them and other groups to "distance themselves" from anything that remotely looks or feels "Catholic."
I'd be interested in hearing your 'read' on all of this -- not only regarding it's cause, but on what it will take to turn the tide, helping people to be better informed and less suspicious and/or critical of our more ancient faith traditions and ecclesiologies.
image credit: avisualplanet.com