Before we start…

This is the material for our Ash Wednesday live zoom service at 7:30pm. You can also use this material by yourself to celebrate Ash Wednesday.

Our worship for Ash Wednesday is sombre and very liturgical as we begin Lent, our time of preparing for the joy and brightness of Easter.

Welcome and Introduction (Tom)

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, since early days Christians have observed with great devotion the time of our Lord’s passion and resurrection and prepared for this by a season of penitence and fasting.

By carefully keeping these days, Christians take to heart the call to repentance and the assurance of forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel, and so grow in faith and in devotion to our Lord.

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.

Let us pray for grace to keep Lent faithfully.

Silence is kept.

Holy God,
our lives are laid open before you:
rescue us from the chaos of sin
and through the death of your Son
bring us healing and make us whole
in Jesus Christ our Lord.



There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy

Old Testament and New Testament Readings (Paul)

Joel 2:1-2,12-17

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel (Rosemary)

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

John 8.1-11

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon (Berni)

Berni is preaching this evening (transcript).


The Stand

Self-examination and Confession

Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father,
have mercy upon us.

God the Son,
have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy upon us.

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity,
have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money; from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind; from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy; in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation; by your birth, childhood and obedience; by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work; by your mighty acts of power; and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial; by your cross and passion; and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection; by your glorious ascension; and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.
Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

Silence is kept.

Make our hearts clean, O God;
and renew a right spirit within us.

Father eternal, giver of light and grace,
we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,
in what we have thought,
in what we have said and done,
through ignorance, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We have wounded your love,
and marred your image in us.
We are sorry and ashamed,
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past;
and lead us out from darkness
to walk as children of light. Amen.

Imposition of Ashes (Tom)

Dear friends in Christ, I invite you to receive these ashes as a sign of the spirit of penitence with which we shall keep this season of Lent.

Blessing the ashes
God our Father, you create us from the dust of the earth: grant that these ashes may be for us a sign of our penitence and a symbol of our mortality; for it is by your grace alone that we receive eternal life in Jesus Christ our Saviour.

We ash ourselves or our family members
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.

The Lord enrich you with his grace, and nourish you with his blessing; the Lord defend you in trouble and keep you from all evil; the Lord accept your prayers, and absolve you from your offences, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.


Empty Broken Here I Stand

Intercessions (Rosemary)

Rosemary leads our intercessions (transcript).

And we gather all our prayers together as one:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.


El Shaddai

Blessing and dismissal (Tom / Rosemary)

May God the Father,
who does not despise the broken spirit,
give to you a contrite heart.

May Christ,
who bore our sins in his body on the tree,
heal you by his wounds.

May the Holy Spirit,
who leads us into all truth,
speak to you words of pardon and peace.

And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Some music taken from Worship Lyric Videos – all rights reserved.