FEBRUARY 17, 2021 – 7:00 P.M.
A PENITENTIAL SERVICE FOR USE ON ASH WEDNESDAY
The Book of Common Prayer
Sentences of Scripture
JESUS came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye and believe the Gospel.
St Mark 1. 14, 15.
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
St John 6. 37.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
St Matthew 11. 28–30.
The Hymn: Come Down, O Love Divine.
Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.
O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.
And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.
BRETHREN, in the primitive Church it was the custom to observe with great devotion the days of our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection, and to prepare for the same by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided also a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for holy Baptism. It was also a time when such persons as had, by reason of notorious sins, been separated from the body of the faithful, were reconciled and restored to the fellowship of the Church by penitence and forgiveness. Thereby the whole Congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution contained in the Gospel of our Saviour, and of the need which all Christians continually have, of a renewal of their repentance and faith. I therefore invite you, 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 meditation upon God’s holy Word.
Here shall be read the following LESSON: Joel 2. 12–18.
2Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. 14Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God? 15Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; 16gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy. 17Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”18Then the Lord became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people.
PSALM 51, Miserere Mei, Deus, page 394. After which he shall say:
HAVE mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness; / according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences.
Wash me throughly from my wickedness, / and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults, / and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee only have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight; / that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and clear when thou dost judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in wickedness, / and in sin hath my mother conceived me.
But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts, / and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.
Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; / thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness, / that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Turn thy face from my sins, / and put out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God, / and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence, / and take not thy holy spirit from me.
O give me the comfort of thy help again, / and stablish me with a free spirit.
Then shall I teach thy ways unto the wicked, / and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou that art the God of my salvation; / and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness.
O Lord, open thou my lips, / and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
For thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it; / but thou delightest not in burnt offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: / a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise.
O BE favourable and gracious unto Sion; / build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with the burnt offerings and oblations; / then shall they offer young bullocks upon thine altar.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
OUR Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.
Minister. O Lord, save thy servants;
People. That put their trust in thee.
Minister. Send unto them help from above;
People. And evermore mightily defend them.
Minister. Help us, O God our Saviour;
People. And for the glory of thy Name deliver us; be merciful unto us sinners, for thy Name’s sake.
Minister. O Lord, hear our prayer;
People. And let our cry come unto thee.
Here the Collect for Ash Wednesday
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then the prayers following shall be said.
O LORD, we beseech thee, mercifully hear our prayers, and spare all those who confess their sins unto thee; that they, whose consciences by sin are accused, by thy merciful pardon may be absolved; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O MOST mighty God, and merciful Father, who hast compassion upon all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made; who wouldest not the death of a sinner, but that he should rather turn from his sin, and be saved: Mercifully forgive our trespasses; receive and comfort us, who are grieved and wearied with the burden of our sins. Thy property is always to have mercy; to thee only it appertaineth to forgive sins. Spare, O Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast deemed; enter not into judgement with thy servants, who truly repent us of our faults, but so make haste to help us in this world, that we may ever live with thee in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Minister and people say:
TURN thou us, O good Lord, and so shall we be turned. Be favourable, O Lord, Be favourable to thy people, Who turn to thee in weeping, fasting, and praying. For thou art a merciful God, Full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pity. Thou sparest when we deserve punishment, And in thy wrath thinkest upon mercy. Spare thy people, good Lord, Spare them, and let not thine heritage be brought to confusion. Hear us, O Lord, for thy mercy is great, And according to the multitude of thy mercies took upon us; Through the merits and mediation of thy blessed Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Holy Gospel: Matthew 5. 1-20
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.”You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Sermon – The Rector
Lord, for thy tender mercies’ sake, lay not our sins to our charge; But forgive that is past, and give us grace to amend our sinful lives; To decline from sin, and incline to virtue, That we may walk with a perfect heart before thee, now and evermore.
Minister. Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
People. Lord, have mercy upon us.
Minister. Lord, hear our prayer.
People. And let our cry come unto thee.
Minister. Let us pray.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who forgavest the people of Nineveh when they repented in sackcloth and ashes: Mercifully grant that we, truly repenting of our sins, may obtain of thee perfect pardon and release; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O GOD our Father, who makest thy sun to rise upon the evil and upon the good, and sendest rain upon the just and upon the unjust: Help us to love our enemies, and to forgive those who trespass against us, that we may receive of thee the forgiveness of our sins, and be made thy children in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
LORD of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
An Anthem, which may be said or sung, all kneeling:
O KING all glorious amid thy saintly company, / who ever shalt be praised:
Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, / and we are called by thy holy Name.
Leave us not, O our God; / but grant us that with a pure conscience we may duly keep the Paschal Feast,
And at the day of judgement / be placed in the number of thy Saints and chosen ones, King most blessed.
Then the minister alone shall say:
THE LORD bless us, and keep us. The LORD make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, both now and evermore. Amen.