Worship: February 14, 2018, Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Service

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

7:00 p.m.


Ash Wednesday is a time when we are invited to reflect on our hopes for ourselves. There have been moments when we failed to hold to our commitment to the Christ who walks ahead of us on the way.  We reflect on the knowledge of our human failings.  We contrast the moments when we cheered on the godliness in the world, as on Palm Sunday,  and the times when we failed to do that.  We see and touch the ashes of those hopes as we acknowledge and grieve our profound humanness.


 Praise Prelude

 *Call To Worship

Leader:   Our help is in the name of the Lord,

People:  who made heaven and earth.

Leader:   Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?

People:  Hope in God; for we shall praise him, our help and our God.

Leader:   Brothers and sisters in Christ, every year at Easter, during the time of the “Christian Passover,” we celebrate our redemption through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Lent is a time to prepare for this celebration and to practice with discipline daily repentance, our daily dying and rising in union with Christ.

People:  We begin this season by acknowledging our need for repentance and for the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 *Hymn: “Your Only Son” ……………….…#518

 Scripture: Psalm 90 (O.T., pg. 517)

 A Time For Confession

Leader:   Lord God, it is hard to think that we will die someday.

All:         We dream, make plans, and talk about what we’ll do in the near future.  We don’t always think about what you want.

Leader:   But we are only here because you take care of us.

All:         We confess that we forget we need you all the time.  We confess that sometimes we make choices that aren’t what you want.  We don’t know what is best for our lives.  Holy, God, we are sorry for our sin.  Help us to remember we live because of you.  Help us to do what you want us to do through Jesus, our Lord.  Amen.

Assurance Of God’s Forgiveness

Leader:   God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

               (Those who choose to do so, may come forward for the imposition of ashes.)

 We Engage With The Word

 Scripture:   Matthew 11: 28-30 (N.T., pg. 10)


 The order for Holy communion

 We will commune by intinction. When directed, please come forward by the center aisle. 

 *The Thanksgiving

Leader:   Gracious God, we praise you and give you thanks.

 All:         It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Leader:   We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.  For the love we call God, the creator of heaven and earth. . . we give thanks.  For the person we call Jesus, and his message of peace, justice and inclusiveness. . . we give thanks.  For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit, always on the breath of life. . . we give thanks.

 All:         We give thanks for the love, peace, justice, generosity, strength and freedom that is God working in our midst.   

 *The Story Of The Bread And Wine

Leader:   Let us remember the tradition.  We remember, at the end of a journey, among friends, gathered around a table, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for all the blessings in his life, and broke it.  We remember, at the same table and gathered with the same friends, Jesus poured a cup of wine, gave thanks, and shared it with his friends, inviting them to drink.  Bread broken; cup full, Jesus set the table.

Leader:   May the Spirit within us

All:         Be a source of healing and consolation.

Leader:   May the Spirit within us

All:         Strengthen us when we feel weak, warm us when we are cold-hearted, bend us when we are stubborn, move us when we are uncaring, guide us in the way of love.

Leader:   May the Spirit within us

All:         Shine in all we do.  (Please be seated.)

The Prayer Of Our Savior

Blessing Of the Elements

The Sharing Of The Elements

Affirmation Of Faith

One:       In response to the Word, the Bread and the Cup, as we share this day of reflection, let us affirm our faith together:

All:         We believe in a Christ who, even on the lonely way towards Jerusalem, holds us fast, as we dare to enter and stay with our realities.  Here, within the ashes of our lost hopes, the Holy Spirit will be found, inviting us again to a true encounter with our past and present and joining us as we face what has been and moving us toward a new day.


One:       Stay with us now as we leave this place, O Christ.  Dwell deeply within our souls that we may try again to go with you toward whatever lies before us in costly life.

All:         Speak your saving truth within our lives and remind us that all our journeying is but a small glimpse of the grand hope which calls us on in your strength.  This we pray in your faithful name.  Amen.

 *Closing Music:   “O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High”…………#618


Leader:   In the darkened places, the light of truth will be found.  Go now with courage into that truth.

All:         And may our lives be touched by grace, that Christ never leave us nor forsake us and the God who lights all life be known in all the earth as the One who loves us in our humble humanness.  Amen.