Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent in the Christian calendar. Lent is the time leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and death. Easter is the celebration of his resurrection. During this time we reflect on the gospel, and examine our own lives, striving to move closer to the people God calls us to be, the person that Jesus’ modeled for us. Although we will never attain His perfection on our own, we are made perfect in God’s eyes because of his death and resurrection.

Lighting of the Candles & Song
Kyrie Eleison (#484) – Piano Instr. & Live in Charity (Ubi Caritas) (#2179) – Elizabeth Stanley (song leader)

Greeting & Welcome
Pastor: Peace be with you.
People: And also with you.
Pastor: Let us bless God’s holy name.

Pastor: Today we will follow a Taize style of worship and singing.
It is more contemplative and calm, a perfect setting for Ash Wednesday.
The songs we will sing are simpler, so usually we will repeat each refrain 6 times. Our song leader will help guide us.
May this service be a time of reflection as we begin our season of Lent.
Now let us stand and sing: Bless the Lord

“Bless the Lord “(#2013), sing 6 times — Elizabeth leads

Scripture Reading
Isaiah 58:1-12 (NRSV)

Responsive Reading
Psalm 51:1-17

Leader: Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love! Wipe away my wrongdoings according to your great compassion!
People: Wash me completely clean of my guilt; purify me from my sin!

Leader: Because I know my wrongdoings, my sin is always right in front of me.
People: I’ve sinned against you—you alone. I’ve committed evil in your sight.

Leader: That’s why you are justified when you render your verdict, completely correct when you issue your judgment.
People: Yes, I was born in guilt, in sin, from the moment my mother conceived me.

Leader: And yes, you want truth in the most hidden places; you teach me wisdom in the most secret space.
People: Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.

Leader: Let me hear joy and celebration again; let the bones you crushed rejoice once more.
People: Hide your face from my sins; wipe away all my guilty deeds!

Leader: Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!
People: Please don’t throw me out of your presence; please don’t take your holy spirit away from me.

Leader: Return the joy of your salvation to me and sustain me with a willing spirit.
People: Then I will teach wrongdoers your ways, and sinners will come back to you.

Leader: Deliver me from violence, God, God of my salvation, so that my tongue can sing of your righteousness.
People: Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Leader: You don’t want sacrifices. If I gave an entirely burned offering, you wouldn’t be pleased.
People: A broken spirit is my sacrifice, God. You won’t despise a heart, God, that is broken and crushed.
[1 minute of silence]

“Jesus, Remember Me” (#488), sing 6 times — Elizabeth leads

Scripture Reading
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 (NRSV)

Pastor Laura

Imposition of Ashes
Soft music playing while participants come forward to receive ashes.

Prayer of Confession and Pardon
Pastor: In the dark of night God calls to us; beckoning us on, seeking us out, calling us to peace, to quietness, to wholeness.
People: The world is dark around us, filled with coldness, terror and restlessness.

Pastor: It is a darkness of our creation: Greed, hatred, envy: brokenness.
People: Take us and heal us of every evil. Bring us back into the comfort and closeness of your embrace, O God.

Pastor: Your cleansing love, O God, purifies our darkness, restoring it to us: Warm, comforting, restful, complete.
People: In the dark of our night we hear God call, offering love and strength and forgiveness.

Pastor: With God the darkness brings comfort not fear, love not hatred, righteousness not punishment. Walk in the darkness of your life as in the light, for both the dark and the light belong to God, as do you.
People: Amen.
[Pastoral Prayer by Cody]

Time of Prayer
“O Lord, Hear My Prayer” (#2200), 6 times — Elizabeth leads – People pray either at altar rails or in their seat while singing the song,

Response – Laura
Pastor: The End is God’s. The Beginning is God’s.
People: The Storm is God’s. The Peace is God’s.
Pastor: The Depths are God’s. The Heights are God’s
People: The Dark is God’s. The Light is God’s.
Pastor: For all times, all things and all, ALL belong to God.
People: Travel with God to the end from the beginning.
Pastor: Walk with the Lord of your salvation.
People: Continue with God during the storm as well as the peace.
Pastor: Walk with the God of your deliverance.
People: Journey with God through the depths and the heights.
Pastor: Walk with the Lord of your restoration.
People: Tarry with God in the dark and the light.
Pastor: Walk with the Lord of your assurance;
People: For all times, all things and all ALL belong to God.
ALL: Amen.
(1 minute of silence)

Closing Words
Pastor: Our service has ended but our Lenten journey is just beginning. We will close by singing the song, Stay With Me. You are welcome to stay after our singing is complete. As we all leave this sacred time, may the God of new beginnings help us in our seeking and healing.

Closing Song
“Stay with Me” (#2198) — Elizabeth leads


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *