Ash Wednesday 2020

 Borrowed from our Book of Worship:

"Ash Wednesday emphasizes a dual encounter: we confront our own mortality and confess our sin before God within the community of faith. The form and content of the service focus on the dual themes of sin and death in the light of God's redeeming love in Jesus Christ.

The visual environment should be solemn and stark. Purple is the most traditional color throughout Lent; but on Ash Wednesday gray, with its suggestion of ashes, is especially appropriate. Dark earth colors or any somber hues are also appropriate. Rough, coarse textures such as burlap—sackcloth and ashes—suggest the character of the day and season.

The use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship, and the Imposition of Ashes can be a powerful nonverbal and experiential way of participating in the call to repentance and reconciliation. This practice is the historic focus of Ash Wednesday observance and gave the day its name. It is traditional to save the palm branches from the previous Passion/Palm Sunday service and burn them ahead of time to produce the ashes for this service."

Know Yourself
Deny Yourself
Read Scripture

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Purifying Mystery, your light exposes in us all that we hide.
Awaken us and all your Holy Church to spiritual combat.
Lead us to purity of soul and body in these forty days.
Fortify us to take an honest look at ourselves
and to name our secret sins and our ruts of disobedience.
Let abstinence from our addictions free us for prayer and the fire of love.
Perfect us by steady gaze toward your pure mercy and grace
so that we may come to the Passion of Jesus
and the Holy Pascha* in pure joy.
In confidence we commend ourselves and all our passions
and cares to your never failing mercy.

We intercede for the world and the church:
Especially for those we have hurt by our preoccupations …
For those who live sacrificially so that others
may know your justice and compassion …
For a just peace in and among nations …
For professionals who help others stand in the light …
For the church in every place …
For the concerns and cares of our lives …

* Easter

See you Wednesday night as we begin the Lenten journey together.