During the times of reflection, you are welcome to journal or reflect silently. Prayer of Tears Leader: Cry aloud to the Lord! The cross drawn on the forehead symbolizes the cross that Jesus died on to cleanse the world of its sins. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. At the end of the Lenten pilgrimage, on Easter Sunday, services sometimes begin in a somber tone and progress through the remainder of the scriptural story, building toward a climax of great joy in the resurrection. The Sundays of Lent are certainly part of the time of Lent, but they are not prescribed days of fast and abstinence.
As we share with those in need, we look into the eyes of Jesus. Responsive Scripture Reading One: 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. Breathe in me your new life. Recently, movements have developed that involve pastors distributing ashes to passersby in public places. This is a must read for first-time users.
Since then the practice has become an annual ritual in many Christian churches including Catholics, Lutherans, and Methodists. The dusting of Ashes is mentioned in the Bible as a sign of mourning and repentance. Peers might be fooled by hypocrites. Many times in Scripture, the practice of repentance is also associated with ashes. If you are wanting to stream a particular video in your service, we request you contact us at least 2 weeks before the service to clear any potential copyright issues.
Awaken again our longing for you. Reader 2: May God bless us all on our Lenten journey. Reader 2: Fill us with a sense of your call to be strong and courageous. Almost half of adult Catholics, 45 percent, typically receive ashes at Ash Wednesday services, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Later, all Christians, whether public or secret penitents, came to receive ashes out of devotion. Leader: In Christ, God wipes away every tear from our eyes, healing us by the resurrection.
Let tears stream down like a torrent. The provide everything needed to plan and facilitate a scripture-focused Sacred Space gathering and includes additional options such as Thoughts for Children. In some congregations, the ashes are traditionally created by burning the palm branches that were used in Palm Sunday celebrations the previous year. The journey of Lent is about the return, reconciliation, and restoration to who we have always been invited to become…together. Since Easter moves around on the calendar, so does Ash Wednesday. The purpose should not be to draw attention from peers. The passage ends with a hopeful promise.
People: In Christ, God is calling us to be made new, offering us divine assurance in grace and forgiveness. Awaken again our longing for you. Taylor stars as a 55-year-old woman whose looks have gone during her lengthy, unhappy marriage to rich lawyer Fonda. What relationships need tending and restoring this Lenten season? Reader 2: Empower us with your strength—the force of love. People: We gather before you, O God, in solemn assembly.
In scripture, ashes paradoxically signify grief, sin, and human mortality while also symbolizing joy, forgiveness, and victory over death. People: We look toward a day of darkness and gloom, a day clouded with sorrow, sadness, and sacrifice. The ashes represent mourning and repentance. The restoring of persons to healthy or righteous relationships with God, others, themselves, and the earth is at the heart of the purpose of your journey as a people of faith. In 325 the Council of Nicea spoke of a 40-day period of preparation for Easter as something already obvious and familiar to all. How are you invited to move toward wholeness and restoration in your relationships with others? Creative energy flows, and new solutions are found as we learn to lean into that which is not seen but draws us close to the heart of God. You are invited to receive the ashes as we begin this Lenten journey together.
The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Our motivation for engaging in good works and spiritual practices must be heavenly, not earthly. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 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. The restoring of persons to healthy or righteous relationships with God, others, themselves, and the earth is at the heart of the purpose of your journey as a people of faith. This would not happen if they were done to merely impress a naïve audience. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
In quiet humility we honor the dignity of self and other. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. In what spiritual practices might we engage during Lent so our hearts might draw closer to God? We must not allow spiritual discipline to become spiritual pride. We have come willing to journey into the wilderness with Jesus, seeking the truth about ourselves, humbly preparing for renewal of our discipleship, committing ourselves again as disciples of Jesus. When we think of confession, we might find ourselves feeling resistance! How are you invited to tend your deepest longing for God? Do whatever is most comfortable for your congregation. How are you invited to move toward wholeness and restoration in your relationships with others? Breathe in me your peace.