Ash Wednesday 2021

Join us for brief, outdoor worship on Wednesday, February 17th at noon and 6:00 PM. We will be on the front lawn, socially distanced. Masks required.

Wonder what Ash Wednesday is? What it’s for? Why we observe it? Reads this excerpt from the United Methodist Book of Worship:

Ash Wednesday emphasizes a dual encounter: we confront our own mortality and confess our sin before God within the community of faith. The form and content of the service focuses on the dual themes of sin and death in the light of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ.

The use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship, and the Imposition of Ashes can be a powerful nonverbal and experiential way of participating in the call to repentance and reconciliation. This practice is the historic focus of Ash Wednesday observation and gave the day its name.

It is traditional to save the palm branches from the previous Passion/Palm Sunday service and burn them ahead of time to produce the ashes for this service.

There is a particularly powerful hymn in The Faith We Sing which is normally sung on Ash Wednesday called Sunday’s Palms Are Wednesday’s Ashes words by Rae E. Whitney, music by B. F. White CCLI #3413445

Sunday’s palms are Wednesday’s ashes as another Lent begins;
thus we kneel before our Maker in contrition for our sins.
We have marred baptismal pledges, in rebellion gone astray;
now, returning, seek forgiveness; grant us pardon, God, this day!

We have failed to love our neighbors, their offences to forgive,
have not listened to their troubles, nor have cared just how they live,
we are jealous, proud, impatient, loving over-much our things;
may the yielding of our failings be our Lenten offerings.

We are hasty to judge others, blind to proof of human need;
and our lack of understanding demonstrates our inner greed;
we have wasted earth’s resources; want and suffering we’ve ignored;
come and cleanse us, then restore us; make new hearts within us, Lord!