Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Congregants wear a smudge of ash on their foreheads to symbolize repentance and fasting, and commence the season of preparation for Easter.
Oh God, we are reminded this day of the temporality of our lives here on the earth.
We are dust and to dust we will return.
It is by your Spirit and your power that we are given life.
You are the source of all hope and life.
We enter now a season of repentance.
That we may turn from selfishness.
We set aside some comforts
That we may turn our attention to Your holiness.
Cast now our transgressions far from us
As far is the east is from the west.
We mourn the profound disconnection from You that happened at the dawn of humankind.
Bring us back into Your presence.
We rejoice in the perfect work of Christ on earth.
Christ reconciles us to You.
Prepare our hearts, Oh God, for Resurrection life.
You bring beauty from ashes.
Prepare our hearts for the joy of Your coming.
You bring gladness from mourning.
Prepare our hearts for the fullness of Your presence.
You bring forth praise from despair.