There is no Ash Wednesday Being Held Live
This is a service that you can do in your own home.
A SERVICE OF WORSHIP FOR ASH WEDNESDAY
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also, with you.
Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
God's mercy endures for ever.
Gracious God, we begin in this Lenten period a period of inner reflection and examination. Help us to see life through Christ's eyes and the truth and reality of your love incarnate. Give us the grace to these days with anticipation of your presence. As we open ourselves to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over us and fill our hearts.
HYMN: Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days
SCRIPTURE LESSON Joel 2:1 –2, 12–17
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near—
2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread upon the mountains, a great and powerful army comes;
their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come.
12 Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and relents from punishing.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly;
16 gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children,
even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy.
17 Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep.
Let them say, “Spare your people, O LORD, and do not make your heritage a mockery,
a byword among the nations.
Why should it be said among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
SCRIPTURE LESSON 2 Corinthians 5:20 b –6:10
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
6 As we work together with him,[a] we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3 We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7 truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
HYMN: I Surrender All
GOSPEL LESSON Matthew 6:1 –6, 16–21
“1Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
16 “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[b] consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust[c] consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
INVITATION TO THE OBSERVANCE OF LENTEN DISCIPLINE
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
the early Christians observed with great devotion
the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection,
and it became the custom of the Church that before the Easter celebration
there should be a forty–day season of spiritual preparation.
During this season converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism.
It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins
and had separated themselves from the community of faith
were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness,
and restored to participation in the life of the Church.
In this way the whole congregation was reminded
of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ
and the need we all have to renew our faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church,
to observe a holy Lent:
by self–examination and repentance;
by prayer, fasting, and self–denial;
and by reading and meditating on God's Holy Word.
To make a right beginning of repentance,
and as a mark of our mortal nature,
let us now bow before our Creator and Redeemer.
A brief silence is kept, the congregation kneeling or bowed.
THANKSGIVING OVER THE ASHES
Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the earth.
Grant that these ashes may be to us a sign of our mortality and penitence,
so that we may remember that only by your gracious gift
are we given everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
IMPOSITION OF ASHES
At this point, please use the ashes you picked up and make a sign of the cross with them.
If you do not have ashes, please just make the sign of the cross.
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
CONFESSION AND PARDON
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right[b] spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing[c] spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God[d] is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
All offer prayers of confession in silence.
Assurance of Pardon
May the almighty and merciful God,
who desires not the death of a sinner
but that we turn from wickedness and live,
accept your repentance, forgive your sins,
and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.
HYMN: Just as I Am, Without One Plea .
DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING
May the Lord bless you and keep you.