Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ash Wednesday Worship 2011 6:30 pm Mar. 9


This is the day which God has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad therein.
For what does the Eternal require of us?
To live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God
Thus do we covenant together:
In the light of truth, and the loving and liberating spirit of Jesus, we gather in freedom, to worship God, and serve others.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23,24

Thou who has made us to know that we are dust and to dust we shall return, make us also to know that we are temples of thy holy Spirit and recipients of thy grace. Amen.

Hymn: O God Our Help In Ages Past, #281

General Confession (all say)

Almighty and most merciful, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; to the glory of thy holy name. Amen.

Scripture: Jesus said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

Psalm: from PSALM 51 (Responsively)
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot
out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

PRAYER of Confession.
Merciful and generous God, we come before you conscious of our sins. We are ashamed and sorry for the wrong we have done and the good we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves; we have not even loved ourselves very well. God of mercy, forgive us.
Lord have mercy.
We know that your beautiful world suffers from greed and injustice: Children go hungry, with only tears for food, and the forests groan in distress. And we know that our comfort, our standard of living, depends on the suffering of others and the ruin of the planet. These things disturb us, yet, we confess we have not protested as we ought, or rushed to combat these evils as we should. Make us braver, dear God, to speak out and act. God of mercy, forgive us.
Lord have mercy.
Loving God, you call us to be your people, a witness to the transforming power of love in the world. But we have not been faithful. We have held on to our anger and hurt for too long, we have not known how to work out our differences. Set us free from all our old wounds. Draw us together in community dedicated to your purpose in all that we do. God of mercy, forgive us.
Lord have mercy.
Now, merciful God, we come to you in silence: you already know the wrong that weighs us down, the guilt we cannot shake, the hurts that need to be healed. We ask that you take them from us now and set us free to begin a new life.
God of mercy, forgive us.
Lord have mercy.

(Silent meditation and reflection).

Hymn: Find A Stillness, #352

Ash Wednesday Prayer (responsively)
From lack of reverence for truth and beauty; From going along with mean and ugly things; Holy One, deliver us. From cowardice that dares not face truth; Laziness content with halftruth; Or arrogance that purports to know it all; Holy One, deliver us. From artificial life and worship; From all that is hollow or insincere; From trite ideals and cheap pleasures; From mistaking vulgarity for humor; Holy One, deliver us. From being pompous or rude; From cynicism about others; From intolerance or cruel indifference; Holy One, deliver us. From being satisfied with things as they are, In the church and the world; From failing to share your outrage about injustice; Holy One, deliver us. From token concern for the poor; From lack of sympathy for lonely or loveless people; From confusing faith with feeling good; Or love with wanting to be loved; Holy One, deliver us. For everything in us that may hide your light; Holy One, light of life, forgive us. AMEN.

Receiving of Blessing and Anointment For Healing

Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Repent and trust the good news of God’s love. May the touch of balm received from one another tonight be a sign that though you are mortal and though you have stepped from the path of Love you are always a child of God, and may it be a reminder that we are called to be a healing presence in the world, in the way of Christ Jesus who walked with those whom others shunned, who ate and drank with those whom others despised, who healed those whom others shamed, who lived fully and freely in the face of those oppressing others with injustice, who blessed those who cursed and killed him, who taught all those who would follow his way to pray saying Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

(As you touch with the balm the palm or forehead of the one next to you, you may make the sign of the cross or a simple mark, and you may give them a blessing such as “May God walk with you always” or “May the spirit of Jesus help heal your heart,” or “Be full of love in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” or words from your heart.

Silent Sharing of Communion: Jesus said I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. And they said, Lord, when did we do this? And he said, You did this for me when you did it for the least of these. Jesus often healed by sharing meals; people in his presence often turned their life around by joining in his meals. Let this sacred meal in his spirit remind us to help heal and serve others in his spirit. Here then for the renewal of life is the bread of life, food for the spirit. Let all who hunger come and eat. So here is the fruit of the vine pressed and poured out for us. Let all who thirst now come and drink. In this new covenant, we come to make peace. We come to be restored in the love of God. We come to be made new as an instrument of that love. All are worthy. All are welcome. (Sharing of Plate and Cup)

Closing Song: Guide My Feet #348

Benediction Response: A Litany of Atonement, #637

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