ASH WEDNESDAY CELEBRATION
Wednesday February 13, 2002
First Reading: Matthew 4:1-11
Welcome Address: Mr. McGuinness
Today we have come together to celebrate Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday starts us on a journey toward Easter. This journey will take us 40 days, just like the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert praying, fasting and listening to God. It is a time for us to look into the desert of our heart to change things in our lives which lead us away from God. It is time for us to allow God to come into our hearts, so that we can forgive each other, and make peace with God and those we have hurt by our words and actions.
Opening Hymn: Here I Am Lord
Gospel: From the Book of the Prophet Joel 2 (12-14)
The Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me all your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, mourning. Let your remorse tear at your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered; he is full of kindness, and anxious not to punish you.
Symbols of Lent:
At this time we will be reading the explanation of the NATIVE LENTEN SYMBOLS, and having students present their symbol to the alter. After each symbol there is a student response. (Please discuss the symbols with your class so that students have a better understanding of their meaning.)
As each symbol is discussed we will present actual symbols to the alter.
Preparation of Ashes: What are Ashes all about?
(If Father is unable to join us, we will read the explanation and distribute the Ashes.)
These are the ashes from burned palms, that were received the previous year on Palm Sunday. The ashes are meant to be a sign. We are admitting to everyone, that we have had times when we messed up, and we are now asking for prayers to be forgiven. We leave this sign on our forehead for as long as it lasts, to show our love and commitment to doing better for God.
Distribution of Ashes:
Ministers of Ashes will say, “Turn away from sin and believe in the good news.”
Students reply, “Amen”.
Song: Prodigal Song
Closing Prayer / Petitions :
Thank you Lord for the chance to celebrate Lent together. May we now follow Jesus’ way of life, avoiding what is wrong and filling our Lent with good works. We ask for the blessing of forgiveness:
Response: Lord, forgive us!
For the times we do not share.
For the times we fight.
For the times we do not listen.
For the times we have been unkind to others.
For the times we have not been helpful at home or in school.
For the times we speak badly of other people.
For the times we have not prayed as we should.
For the times we have not been friendly with everyone.
For the times we have not shown respect to others.
May the forgiveness we share turn hatred into love, war to peace, and death to life that lasts forever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Closing Song: Lord You Are Near