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Special: ***Ecumenical Ash Wednesday Service***

***Ecumenical Ash Wednesday Service***

Ash Wednesday Service Time: Mar 2, 2022 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting

Passcode: 416804 Meeting ID: 828 5349 8837
I have attached a copy of the Ecumenical Ash Wednesday Service for you to print out if you are able to attend. If not, you may choose to pray at a time that works for you. You can create your own Ash by burning a small piece of paper on which you have written what you are letting go of or actively doing for Lent or just blow out the candle you may have burning during the prayer service and use the ash on the wick. You may create other ways. Topic: Ash Wednesday Service Time: Mar 2, 2022 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 828 5349 8837 Passcode: 416804 One tap mobile +16699006833,,82853498837#,,,,*416804# US (San Jose) +13462487799,,82853498837#,,,,*416804# US (Houston) Dial by your location +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Ecumenical Ash Wed Service FINAL - March 2, 2022-1
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Ecumenical Ash Wednesday Service

4:00 p.m. March 2, 2022

Beatitudes Community, St. Anthony’s Community and First Congregation Church Community

Opening Song: (Video shown with the words)

In these Days of Lenten Journey – Ricky Manalo, CSP

Presider 1: Ashes can… be a thing of wonder. This day in the Christian year, this day of ashes, tells us that ashes—dust, dirt, earth—are the stuff from which we have been made, and to which we will return. This day, and the season it heralds, seeks to ground us, to make us mindful of the humus, the humility, the earthiness of which our bones and flesh are made.

And yet, in the midst of this, the season calls us to open ourselves to the God who brings life from ashes, who works wonders amid destruction, who cries out and grieves in the presence of devastation and terror in Ukraine, and who breathes God’s own spirit into the rubble. We do well to remember the sobering fact that we, who are made of such stuff, are capable—every one of us—of inflicting pain and destruction. Thinking we are above it makes us all the more prone to it. Yet this day reminds us, too, that God knows what to do with ashes, knows what can come from them.

Presider 2: It is this God who breathes into us, calling our awful and glorious ash-strewn selves to speak words of life and freedom and healing amid violence and pain. Like Jesus. Like Sojourner Truth. Like Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others who went before us and upon whose shoulders we stand.

(Jan Richardson)

As we cross into the season of Lent, how will we give our ashy selves to the God who longs to breathe new life into us and into Ukraine?

Where is God calling us to be a presence of healing amid devastation? How is God challenging us to stand against the forces that deny freedom, the forces that…seek the silence and captivity of others?... In this season, what will we say and what will we do?

May God work wonders amid the ashes strewn in Ukraine in these coming Lenten days. (Jan Richardson- adapted)

And the people say… R. Amen

Reader 1:

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah 58:4b, 6-7, 10-11a

Do not fast as you do today

to make your voice heard on high!

...Rather, the fast I choose is

releasing those bound unjustly,

untying the thongs of the yoke;

setting free the oppressed,

breaking off every yoke.

Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry,

bringing the afflicted and houseless into your home,

clothing the naked when you see them,

and not turning your back on your own flesh?

...If you lavish your food on the hungry

and satisfy the afflicted,

then your radiance shall shine

and your distress shall be dispelled.

Then the Beloved will guide you always

and satisfy your thirst in parched places...

The Word of an ancient prophet. R. Thanks be to God.

PSALM 83 - Nan C. Merrill

The psalm response is: (sung)

When trouble comes, do not be silent.

When trouble comes, be not afraid.

Reader 2: O Great Creator, do not keep silence.

Do not withhold your peace or be still, O Giver of Life!

Fear is rampant in the world.

Those who rule by oppression rise up with power.

They lay deceptive plans against the people.

They consult together against freedom and justice. (R)

O Great Creator, do not keep silence.

Do not withhold your peace or be still, O Giver of Life!

Crafty words belie intent as thousands reap dire consequence.

Nations go to war and the innocent suffer!

Yes, they conspire with one accord.

Against Love they make a covenant.

No institution is free from the insidious arm of corruption,

at home and in fields afar. (R)

Reader 3: O Great Creator, do not keep silence.

Do not withhold your peace or be still, O Giver of Life!

Who will succor those without shelter, children orphaned,

all who starve, those cast aside by decisions based on greed?

Who will speak up on their behalf?

Let all with faith-filled hearts rise up with Love! (R)

Clothe us in the dress of your peace,

in the stronghold of your mercy,

that we might bear the power of Love.

Let us walk in shoes of integrity,

and don the mantle of truth.

Let us shed the tatters of envy and fear,

the rags of anger and greed,

and say, “We shall seek only the truth,

the truth which will set us free!” (R)

When trouble comes, do not be silent.

When trouble comes, be not afraid.

Reader 4: O Beloved, let all that is unholy within us be cleansed,

erased as chalk from a slate.

As fire consumes the forest,

as the flame reaches up to the heavens,

let the refining fire of your Love

reach into the hidden places within open hearts! (R)

Forgive us.

Let the deep regret of our souls rise up as contrite offerings.

Let the people seek your Word.

Let the nations turn from violence and destruction.

Let them know that You alone,

You who reign with Love

are the Most High over all the earth! (R)

GOSPEL – Reader 5

A Reading from the Gospel attributed to Matthew6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus taught the crowds and the disciples, saying:

"Take care not to perform righteous deeds so that people may see them; otherwise, you'll have no recompense from your heavenly Father and Mother. When you give alms, don't blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in places of worship and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they've received their reward. When you give alms, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. Your God, who sees in secret, will bless you. When you pray, don't be like hypocrites who love to stand and pray in their places of worship and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they've received their reward.

Reader 6: When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to God in secret. God, who sees in secret, will bless you….

"When you fast, don't look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance so they appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they've received their reward. When you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so you don't appear to be fasting, except to your God who is hidden. Your God, who sees what is hidden, will reward you.

The Gospel of God. R. Praise to you, Jesus the Christ.

Song: - Ashes, Tom Conroy – (Video shown with the words)

Presider 1: Blessing for Ash Wednesday

Please hold up your bowl or plate of ashes

So let the ashes come as beginning and not as end; the first sign but not the final. Let them rest upon you as invocation and invitation, and let them take you the way that ashes know to go.

May they mark you (Place the ash on your forehead or hand) with the memory of fire and of the life that came before the burning: the life that rises and returns and finds its way again…

Presider 2: This is the moment we ask for the blessing that lives within the ancient ashes, that makes its home inside the soil of this sacred earth.

So let us be marked not for sorrow. And let us be marked not for shame.

Let us be marked not for false humility or for thinking we are less than we are.

But let us be marked for claiming what God can do within the dust, within the dirt, within the stuff of which the world is made, and the stars that blaze in our bones, and the galaxies that spiral inside the smudge we bear.

–Jan Richardson

May our service today sustain us through our Lenten Fast, through our Lenten Service to others so desperate for Love and Mercy and action to heal our nation in crisis. Amen

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