Ash Wednesday opens the season of Lent. It is the starting point of a period of reflection, penitence, fasting and alms giving leading up to the celebration of Easter Sunday.
During the Ash Wednesday service we are invited to kneel before the Alter and have the sign of the cross marked on our foreheads, with ash that has been made from last years palm crosses. As the Priest 'imposes' the ashes we are reminded of our mortality and sinful nature, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return". It is an opportunity to acknowledge our frailty before God, to remember our reliance on him for our very existence and to pray for his forgiveness.
Prayer for Ash Wednesday
|Almighty and everlasting God,|
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Ash Wednesday services will be held at 10.30am and 7.30pm at St Chad's