Ash Wednesday

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Prelude

The congregation is invited to say the words together in bold. Please sing along with us! To prepare for worship, you may want to place a candle or two in the place where you worship, to light during the opening prayer.

Welcome

The ushers and the rector welcome the congregation. If you are new to us, consider filling out our “get connected” form, let us get to know you better.

You are invited to light a candle in your own home with us, as we pray.


The Exhortation 

Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
God’s mercy endures for ever.

Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.

The Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Opening Hymn

Lay me Low – Lift Every Voice And Sing Hymnal #


The Readings

We hear the stories of the experience of God from our spiritual ancestors. Following an ancient pattern originally from Jewish synagogue worship, readings follow a set calendar for what will be read when.

THE FIRST READING:

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Joel (Joel 2:1-2,12-17)

Blow the horn in Zion;
    give a shout on my holy mountain!
Let all the people of the land tremble,
    for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is near—
    a day of darkness and no light,
    a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread out upon the mountains,
    a great and powerful army comes,
        unlike any that has ever come before them,
        or will come after them in centuries ahead.

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God


THE GOSPEL READING

The Holy Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ according to Matthew (Matthew 6:1-6,16-21)
Glory to You, Lord Christ.

“Be careful that you don’t practice your religion in front of people to draw their attention. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

“Whenever you give to the poor, don’t blow your trumpet as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they may get praise from people. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that you may give to the poor in secret. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.

“When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.

“And when you fast, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They distort their faces so people will know they are fasting. I assure you that they have their reward. When you fast, brush your hair and wash your face. Then you won’t look like you are fasting to people, but only to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Christ.


The Sermon: The Rev. Mike Angell


Litany of Penitence

Most holy and merciful Father: We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,
We confess to you, Lord.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.


The Peace

The Peace is then exchanged.
The peace of Christ be always with you.
And also with you.

The Peace is then exchangedConsider sending a text, a message on Facebook, or even writing a letter or email to someone who could use some peace.

Announcements:

Announcements are shared


The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray in the way Christ taught us, and in the language of our hearts.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Imposition of Ashes and Concluding Prayers

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, that
we may remember that it is only by your gracious gift that we are given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

If you have a container of ashes, you are invited to impose them after the service. Whether or not you have physical ashes to impose, hear in these ancient words the truth of your mortality and the assurance of everlasting life with God.

Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

After a brief silence, the presider prays:
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.


Concluding Hymn

Eternal Lord of Love Behold your Church – Hymnal #149


The Deacon dismisses the congregation:

Let us Bless the Lord
Thanks be to God.


Postlude

Service Leaders
Preacher & Officiant: The Rev. Mike Angell
Assisting: The Rev. Marc Smith, The Rev. Chester Hines and Emilee Walker-Cornetta, Seminarian
Director of Music: Mary Chapman

Music reprinted and broadcast with permission by OneLicense # A-704988

The Psalms and Collect of the Day are copyright of the Order of Saint Helena. The Scripture Translation is the Common English Bible. All are used by permission.

The Prayers of the People are adapted from a resource from the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.