|A Note about Ash Wednesday: this is a day of penitence that marks the beginning of Lent. It emphasizes a dual encounter: we confront our own mortality and confess our sins before God within the community of faith. Ash Wednesday, as indeed the entire season of Lent, is a time particularly appropriate for new beginnings in the faith or returning to the Lord. During this time we intentionally recall our own mortality and wait upon the Lord for the renewing of the Spirit. This is a time for putting aside the sins and failures of the past in the light of who we are becoming by the grace of God. We are to be prepared by the Spirit so that our participation in the meaning of our Christian faith may be authentic, a true dying and rising with Christ to a new life in God.|
EXPLANATION OF WHAT FOLLOWS
We invite you to pray through this morning/evening prayer on your own. On Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021, from 7-8:30 am and from 12-1 pm, imposition of ashes will be available at the entrance to the church (Ravenswood Covenant Church, 4900 North Damen, Chicago, IL).
MORNING or EVENING PRAYER:
To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, because we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following the laws which he has set before us. Daniel 9:9- 10
Let us confess our sins
against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you 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; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
Come let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock
of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence
and raise a loud shout to him
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the caverns of the earth,
and the heights of the hills
are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands have molded
the dry land.
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
Oh, that today you would
hearken to his voice!
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.Selah
6 Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end, amen, amen.
MATTHEW 6:1-6, 16-21
“Beware 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 consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The Word of the Lord,
P: Thanks be to God.
BLESS THE LORD, MY SOUL
Bless the Lord, my soul
And bless God’s holy name
Bless the Lord, my soul
Who leads you into life.
OBSERVANCE OF A HOLY LENT
Almighty God, in the beginning you created humankind from the dust of the earth. Bless these ashes now and make them become for us a sign of our mortality and penitence. Help us to remember that it is only by your love and grace through the unspeakably precious gift of your Son that we are given everlasting life. In his name we pray. Amen.
IMPOSITION OF ASHES (with the words:)
“Remember, you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Repent and believe the gospel.”
THE LORD’S PRAYER
All: 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 sins as we forgive those who sin against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health
among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that you make in us new and right hearts, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
A PRAYER ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
L: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14