An Ash Wednesday Prayer

ash_crossLord God, heavenly Father,
as the result of his rebellion,
you told father Adam,
“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
We have followed Adam in his rebellion,
and have earned the same reward.
Lift us up from this dust of death
by the rising of your Son Jesus Christ.
Restore us to life with you
by forgiveness through his blood.
Empower us to walk with him in newness of life,
and in the obedience that leads to righteousness.
Finally, on the Last Day,
raise us from the dust of death
to live in the joy of your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand;
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one true God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman © 2017

Parts are written in imitation of the style of the Collects of Veit Dietrich.

“You are dust, …” is a reference to Genesis 3:19

“…the same reward” is a reference to Romans 6:23

“Lift us up from this dust of death… ” is a reference to Psalm 22:15 and Romans 6:4

“Restore us to life…” is a reference to Colossians 2:13

“…forgiveness through his blood” is a reference to Romans 5:9

“Empower us to walk  … ” is a reference to Romans 6:4

“and in the obedience of righteousness” is a reference to Romans 6:16

“Finally, on the Last Day, raise us…” is a reference to Daniel 12:2 and John 6:40

“joy of your presence, eternal pleasures” is a reference to Psalm 16:11

Ash Wednesday cross graphic from http://churchgraphics.blogspot.com/p/clip-art.html

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Ash Wednesday Prayer

O God,
you do not desire the death of sinners,
but you want them to turn to you and live.
Look with pity on the weakness of our mortal nature.
We confess that we are but ashes,
and for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust.
Forgive all our sins,
and give us the blessings that come with true repentance;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 22 #1

“you do not desire the death of sinners” is a reference to Ezekiel 33:11

“We confess that we are but ashes” is a reference to  Genesis 18:27

“for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust” is a reference to  Genesis 3:19Job 10:9Job 34:15Psalm 90:3Psalm 104:29Ecclesiastes 3:20Ecclesiastes 12:7

A Short Devotional Liturgy for Ash Wednesday

This short devotional liturgy can be used in the home, or for the beginning of a school day or a church meeting. It can also be used at any time during the Lenten season.

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Be gracious to us, God, according to your mercy.
Blot out our acts of rebellion according to the greatness of your compassion.  (Psalm 51:1)

O God,
you do not desire the death of sinners,
but you want them to turn to you and live.
Look with pity on the weakness of our mortal nature.
We confess that we are but ashes,
and for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust.
Forgive all our sins,
and give us the blessings that come with true repentance;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Isaiah 59 or another portion of Scripture is read.

Isaiah 59:12-20
12Yes, our rebellious deeds are many before you, and our sins testify against us. Our rebellious deeds are with us, and as for our guilty deeds, we know them: 13rebellion and treachery against the Lord, and we turn back from following our God. We incite oppression and apostasy. We conceive and utter deceitful words from our heart. 14Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away, for truth stumbles in the city square, and uprightness cannot enter. 15Truth is missing and the one who turns aside from evil is becomes prey. The Lord saw that there was no justice, and it was evil in his sight. 16He saw that there was no man, and he was appalled that there was no intercessor. So his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness supported him. 17So he clothed himself with righteousness like body armor, and with a helmet of salvation on his head. He clothed himself in garments of vengeance, and he wrapped himself with zeal like a cloak. 18He will repay in full what they have earned: wrath to his foes, full payment to his enemies. He will repay even the distant islands. 19From the west they will fear the Lord’s name, and from the rising of the sun they will fear his glory, for he will come like a raging river, driven by the Spirit of the Lord. 20Then a Redeemer will come for Zion, for those in Jacob who turn from rebellion, —the declaration of the Lord. (EHV)
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Let us pray.
Lord God, heavenly Father,
as the result of his rebellion,
you told father Adam,
“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
We have followed Adam in his rebellion,
and have earned the same reward.
Lift us up from this dust of death
by the rising of your Son Jesus Christ.
Restore us to life with you
by forgiveness through his blood.
Empower us to walk with him in newness of life,
and in the obedience that leads to righteousness.
Finally, on the Last Day,
raise us from the dust of death
to live in the joy of your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand;
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one true God, now and forever.
Amen.

During these days of Lent, may the Lord focus our hearts on our Lord Jesus Christ as we look to him for cleansing from all our sin and follow him in his obedience.

The blessing of almighty God, the Father, the + Son and the Holy Spirit be with us all.
Amen.

__________

This devotional liturgy and original prayers are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

This devotion can be downloaded as a pdf here.

All scripture is taken from the Evangelical Heritage Version © 2016, 2017, www.wartburgproject.org.

The opening prayer is freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, and can also be read here.

The closing prayer is newly composed by Paul C. Stratman © 2017, and can also be read here.

The short exhortation was written for this devotional liturgy.

Forgive Us Our Sins

O merciful God,
you justified the tax collector
who stood at a distance
and beating his breast,
confessed his sins to you.
As we acknowledge our unworthiness,
and ask for your mercy,
forgive all our sins;
through your mercy,
and for the sake of Jesus Christ,
your Son, our Savior.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Hale, New York, 1881, p. 33 #3

Purify, Instruct and Console

missale_romanum_glagoliticeAlmighty everlasting God,
do not rebuke us in your anger,
but purify, instruct,
and console us with your boundless mercy,
and consider the weakness of our mortal nature.
Just as we are not able to please you without you,
we may be holy by your grace alone;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Gregorian Rite

Source of this version: Modified from A Book of Prayers: Together with Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Ancient and Modern, Ed. Charles Leffingwell, Morehouse Publishing Company, 1921, p. 94 #3

Purify Our Hearts

6069369723_ee697728eb_z_dO God,
you purify human hearts from sin
and make them whiter than snow.
Pour on us the abundance of your mercy.
Renew the Holy Spirit in us
that we may declare your praise,
be strengthened by your grace,
and obtain rest in the eternal mansions
of the heavenly Jerusalem;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Sarum Rite

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers Ancient and Modern
by Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston, Little Brown, 1914, p. 320 #2

This prayer is a reflection on Psalm 51

Graphic: Page from an English Psalter, from Flickr, Walters Art Museum, Public Domain.