Virtual Ash Wednesday

As we are still unable to meet on this day, we will be having an online Ash Wednesday Service.  The service will have several opportunities for you to engage in responsive readings as well as singing. The service will be available on YouTube and on Facebook Live. As this is an interactive service, you may also want a copy of the worship bulletin HERE.  

As for the imposition of ashes themselves (a powerful part of the service) this year we have created a reminder of our mortality for you. The two traditional signs of mourning/penitance in the church have been sackcloth and ashes.  We have created for you a book mark comprised of sackcloth and ashes.  You may pick one up from the church office beginning on February 16th through February 21st.  May this be a way for you to remember that we are but ashes and dust, and remind you to tune your heart and mind to God over the season of Lent.

Cross Ash

What Is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday, the seventh Wednesday before Easter Sunday, is the first day of the Season of Lent. Its name comes from the ancient practice of placing ashes on worshippers’ heads or foreheads as a sign of humility before God, a symbol of mourning and sorrow at the death that sin brings into the world. It not only prefigures the mourning at the death of Jesus, but also places the worshipper in a position to realize the consequences of sin.  Ash Wednesday is a somber day of reflection on what needs to change in our lives if we are to be fully Christian.

In the early church, ashes were not offered to everyone but were only used to mark the forehead of worshippers who had made public confession of sin and sought to be restored to the fellowship of the community at the Easter celebration. However, over the years others began to show their humility and identification with the penitents by asking that they, too, be marked as sinners. Finally, the imposition of ashes was extended to the whole congregation in services similar to those that are now observed in many Christian churches on Ash Wednesday. Ashes became symbolic of that attitude of penitence reflected in the Lord’s prayer:  “forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us”  (Luke 11:4, NRSV).

(Dennis Bratcher, Copyright ©  2018, Dennis Bratcher - All Rights Reserved