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

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.