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Ash Wednesday Liturgy

Ash Wednesday

Prayer
Loving God,
You call us to follow Jesus
to walk and watch with him,
to pray and work for his kingdom

Yet, we feel constrained, bound up, lost, and indifferent
Mark us again with the fire of love

Release in us a passion for justice in this disfigured world.
Set us free that we turn and face the future boldly

Reading Isaiah 58: 4-9

Ash Wednesday
On Ash Wednesday, we use palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday that have been burnt. They are a sign that once we were alight with hope, yearning for Jesus' kingdom, shouting 'Hosanna,' joining with the crowds on the road.
Then, the passion faded. We did not follow where hope leads, to the cross; we fell way. We are left with ashes.
Jesus moved on; we didn't follow.
Ashes - they are part of life. We acknowledge them and, then, we follow Jesus again on his Lenten journey.
That is why we gather tonight.

Silence

Prayer of Confession
God of life, we have turned away from life's richness
We hold ill will in our hearts towards others

We confess our indifference and fatigue
We confess the violent movements of our hearts, the violence in our world

Ashes

Fasting
Fast from greed, feast on sharing
Fast from telling lies, feast on telling the truth
Fast from teasing, feast on kind words
Fast from hate, feast on love