Christian Educator Carolyn Brown believes there are three reasons children should participate in Ash Wednesday services:
- When children see all the adults they love and respect wearing ashes and they themselves are marked with ashes, they know they belong. They are one of God’s people. Other days they may know that with their minds, but on Ash Wednesday they know it in a powerful way with their eyes.
- Because we are all marked not with golden markers but with messy black ashes, children learn that all of us mess up and are forgiven. The most loved and respected adult they know does and they do. In a world where they are constantly told they can do better and can make good choices and should be special, this is important life-shaping information.
- After experiencing an Ash Wednesday service, children and their families are more prepared to come back for holy week services to worship around the most important stories of our faith.
The Pastors at PCPC especially encourage parents to bring their children for these services as they evoke mystery and wonder which children particularly find engaging. Here is some information that we hope is a help for parents in their planning:
- Five services will be offered Ash Wednesday: 8:00a.m, 12:15, 5:15, 6:30 and 7:30p.m. All services include the imposition of ashes and last about 30 minutes. The 6:30 service is often the largest and may go 40-45 minutes.
- Children’s bulletins will be provided at each of the services to help engage our young worshippers.
- Nursery care is available in Covenant Hall for children under the age of five for the 5:15 and 6:30pm services, if that is a parent’s preference.
- Attend the Lenten Fair with your child in Fellowship Hall this Sunday, February 26th for some activities which will help prepare the whole family for a rich and meaningful engagement in Ash Wednesday and Lent.
Carolyn Brown blogs at worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com and these three reasons come from her post about Ash Wednesday.