Ash Wednesday Liturgy

Ash Wednesday
Opening Sentence:
Even now,
return to the Lord your God,
who is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and, 
abounding in steadfast love,
relents from punishing.

Joel 2:13
Opening Prayer:
Almighty God,
you despise nothing you have made
and you forgive the sins
of all who come to you in faith.
Create in us new and contrite hearts,

that, truly repenting of our sins
and acknowledging our brokenness,
we may obtain from you, the God of all mercy,
full pardon and forgiveness;
through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer (adapted)
Click here to watch the Ash Wednesday worship video.

The Apostle Paul tells us
that it is not ours to decide if we live or die.
If we live, we live to the Lord,
and if we die, we die to the Lord.
So then, both in life and in death, we belong to God.

In this service,
we turn to God to acknowledge that we are not our own.
And God turns to us to invite us to a feast.
The bread and wine are but a foretaste
of the perfect love and blessèd peace of heaven.
So come to this table:
Taste of God’s forgiveness.
Experience Christ’s wholeness.
Take part in the Spirit’s perfect unity.
When we receive these gifts,
we become something in the eyes of God
that we could never be on our own.
When we rise from this table,
we are renewed—
not just individually,
but as the body of the One in whose Name we are gathered.
Come, eat, and be made whole.
Come, drink, and be transformed.
Confession (sung):
Have mercy, Lord, according to
the measure of thy love;
blot out my sin, and from my heart
all wickedness remove.
The failings of my deeds and thoughts
are ever in my sight;
release me from the path of death,
and set my course aright.
Into my secret heart send truth,
let wisdom in me grow;
O wash the evil from my hands,
and make me pure as snow.
A clean and upright heart, O Lord,
exchange for mine of stone;
thy Holy Spirit meld with mine,
and leave me not alone.
A contrite heart is thy desire,
my offering, the same;
my lips unlatch, my mouth engage
thy praises to proclaim
 Michael Morgan; Tune: MORNING SONG

Prayer over the Ashes:
Eternal God,
in Adam, you created us from the dust of the earth. 
In Christ, you return us to stardust. 
May these ashes be to us a sign of repentance and renewal: 
As we acknowledge our mortality, 
grant us hope for your eternity. 
In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Communion Prayer:
Most merciful Lord,
your love compels us to come in.
Our hands are unclean,
and our hearts unprepared;
we do not even feel fit
to eat the crumbs from under your table.
But you, Lord, are the God of our salvation,
and share your bread with sinners.
Send your Holy Spirit
to settle on these gifts now before us,
that in the breaking of the bread,
even we might discern the body of your Son,
and in the sharing of the cup
we might taste your goodness
and experience your wholeness.
By that same Spirit,
unite us in love for one another
and in service to our neighbors,
that in our lives and in your church,
your Name might be known and glorified.
Now through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours,
almighty God, now and forever. Amen.
 adapted from the revised Anglican Prayer of Humble Access