Monday, February 4, 2013

Celebrate Ash Wednesday, February 13

On February 13 at 7 pm you are invited to a powerful Ash Wednesday service that will include imposition of ashes on the forehead. The imposition of ashes will occur in the courtyard if weather permits. During the service we are invited to write a list of our sins which we will take outdoors into the courtyard. After burning our sins to signify our forgiveness by Christ, participants may come forward for the imposition of ashes.

The ashes we use are gathered from the burning of palm branches from last year’s Palm Sunday. The ashes are mixed with water from the baptismal font to make a paste. This paste is used by the pastor and liturgists to make the sign of the cross on each of those present while saying the words: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Ash Wednesday gets its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful as a sign of repentance. Ashes were used in ancient times according to the Bible to express mourning. Dusting oneself with ashes was the penitent’s way of expressing sorrow for sins and faults. An ancient example of one’s
expressing penitence is found in Job 42:6 when Job says to God: "I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Examples are found in other books of the Bible including Jonah 3:6, Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:13. Come and prepare your heart for the Lenten season