Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent in the Western tradition. Whereas Shrove Tuesday marks a day of individuals repenting of their sins, Ash Wednesday marks the corporate community confessing its corporate sins. Being marked with the sign of the cross in ashes reminds of Adam who was made from Adamah (dust), and that we are all made from the earth. The sign of the cross is also a sign that we stand together in repentance both for our individual and corporate sins, and is a sign that we are fasting together. Aside from reminding us of our beginnings, ashes are a sign of repentance in both the old and new testaments. Those of you visiting our church during Lent will not that our altar and my vestments are burlap (sackcloth) which is another sign of repentance. (The vestments are trimmed with purple, which stands for penitence, prayer and preparation.)
Old Testament: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Psalm: 103:8 14
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made, and you forgive the sins of all those who are penitent. Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may receive from you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness of our sins. We make our prayer through Yeshuah haMoshiach, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Please feel free to join us at 6:00 A.M. for Ash Wednesday services.