ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICES Due to an expected 1-2” of overnight snow and continued showers through Wednesday (with 20-30 mph winds & subzero temperatures).
You can still observe Ash Wednesday with your customary fasting discipline. If you would like to read the 1979 BCP service for the day, click here. If you prefer the 1928 BCP office, it is here and can be used in conjunction with Morning or Evening Prayer as heard via Cradle of Prayer (from the 1928 BCP). Prior to the 1928, and still in those churches using the 1662 BCP, the Commination was read; it denounces sinners and calls all to repentance with the promise that God will forgive all who turn to him.
We will open our Sunday service with a special penitential office to help us focus on our Lenten discipline. Have you chosen a particular discipline Aaron? If not, here are two suggestions:
Fasting. No…I don’t mean giving up chocolate. It’s highly unlikely that chocolate is interfering with your ability to love God and love others. But there are some surprising things that DO get in the way of serving the Lord with gladness. Here’s a great list of things from which to fast that might actually have an effect on our relationship with the Lord.
Prayer. Above, I’ve provided links to various aids to prayer from our tradition. But perhaps keeping the daily office is not right for you. DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU FROM PRAYING. Here’s something I’m doing this year. I’m praying for a specific person each day of Lent. I’ve filled out almost half of my calendar with specific people to pray for. Everyone in the parish will make an appearance…but what I’ve added is special intercessions for those who are going through a difficult time, or those who feel far off from God, or for specific leaders/opinion shapers. When you pray for these people, ask God to give special ear to their prayers (assuming they are Christians). If they are far off from him, ask God to send the Holy Spirit upon them to call them to himself. Who knows…you might even want to call and share your compassion with them.
Even though we are having to forego some of our traditional ceremonial for opening Lent, that doesn’t have to keep us from having the most holy and life-changing Lent ever.
Be safe, stay warm, and we will see you this weekend.