Ash Wednesday Resources
Ash Wednesday is one of those great moments in the Church year, a day to stop, to remember who we are and whose we are, and to commit ourselves to a season of repentance. We enter into Lent, 40 days of desert, of seeking God through sacrifice and humility, of turning from our sin and embracing the righteousness and freedom to pursue holiness that comes from salvation through Christ.
Here are a few elements that can be used in Ash Wednesday services that I have used in the past.
Leader: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy Name.
People: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Leader: He forgives all your sins and heals all your infirmities;
People: He redeem your life form the grave and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness;
Leader: He satisfies you with good things, and your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.
People: The Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all who are oppressed.
Leader: He made his ways known to Moses and his works to the children of Israel.
People: The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness.
Leader: He will not always accuse us, nor will he keep his anger for ever.
People: He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
Leader: For as the heavens are high above the earth, so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
People: As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us.
Leader: As a father cares for his children, so does the Lord care for those who fear him.
People: For he himself knows whereof we are made; he remembers that we are but dust.
Other Psalter options include:
Invocation or General Prayer
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, forever and ever. Amen.
-Collect for Ash Wednesday, Book of Common Prayer
Prayer over Ashes
These can be done separately, taking just one or the other, or together as a call and response.
1. (Leader) Almighty God, you have created us out 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.
2. (People) O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
About the Author
Kevin Cook is a 4th year student at Asbury Theological Seminary and an Aspirant for Ordination in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). After graduating, Kevin hopes to plant a contemporary three-streams Anglican Church. He and his wife Nicole attend Wilmore Anglican Church in Kentucky.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Business Administration from Florida State University. Kevin enjoys playing music and leading worship, reading fiction and spiritual classics, drinking coffee, and spending time with family and friends.
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