We have a community dinner on Tuesday nights and having Shrove Tuesday has not been possible recently. So, we have blended together Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. We have a formal Ash Wednesday service that is combined with the Methodist’s and Catholic’s. This short service is aimed at families which the formal service is not.
Long ago, chickens were older breeds and would not have laid eggs in the winter. On Shrove Tuesday, people would have been eating up the last of the preserved eggs, which were probably coming to the end of their preservation period. By Easter Day, the chickens would be starting to lay eggs again. Shrove Tuesday, the day before lent was a good excuse for pancakes, to be extravagant before lent began. In lent, people weren’t able to be extravagant. We are having pancakes on Wednesday, because Tuesday doesn’t work for us. We will blend together Pancakes and the beginning of lent with Ashes.
Call to Worship
From dust we came, to dust we will return
WE BELONG TO GOD
We gather asking God for forgiveness, we gather in confidence that
WE BELONG TO GOD
Let us pray:
Loving God, as we enter this Season of Lent, we offer ourselves to You. Your love never fails. We rely on you. Please continue to be with us. Please help us draw closer to you. Amen.
God sent a person to us, many thousands of years ago,
this person’s name was Isaiah.
Isaiah’s job was to tell the people what they had been doing wrong,
and what God wanted them to do.
The people called him a prophet,
because he spoke for God.
God said through Isaiah:
You say you love me
but you don’t.
You aren’t kind to each other.
You appear to give up things for me,
but I don’t need your gifts.
Instead of giving to me,
give to those that don’t have enough.
Be nice to each other.
When someone lies about someone else,
don’t let them get away with the lie,
tell a leader so they can help the person who is feeling trapped.
When you live like this,
when you are kind and good to each other,
then you are living as I the Lord your God ask.
Then everyone will see you are my people.
I love you.
Isaiah told the people what they needed to do, and still they got it wrong.
We still get things wrong all the time.
Every week we need to ask God for forgiveness for what we get wrong.
We celebrate the beginning of the six weeks before Easter with a time called Lent.
In the time of Isaiah, people put ash on themselves to show God they had got something wrong.
Today we do something similar;
we put ash on the front of our heads,
just a tiny bit,
God I have got things wrong;
I haven’t lived your love.
Please forgive me.
Please give me a new start.
On Palm Sunday we give out Palm Crosses.
They make good book marks,
it is something to remind us of Jesus and his teachings.
But today, we burn them up, to make ashes.
And if you want,
you can come forward and I will put a tiny bit on your head,
it is a way of asking God for forgiveness
for the times you have done wrong things.
At the same time though,
we mix olive oil and perfume in with the ashes.
Olive oil is a symbol that God makes us well and forgives us.
So… at the same time you ask for forgiveness,
God forgives you and gives you another go to get things right.
Let us pray:
Jesus as we try to follow you into lent,
May your Spirit tell us
when we are following something else and not you.
May you give us friends and family to help us follow you.
May your Spirit always guide us.
Blessing and giving of ashes
These ashes have been blessed and set aside as a reminder that we need to always ask for Jesus’ help to follow him. Holy Spirit, remind us when we get it wrong, and encourage us to give it another go. May your love, forgiveness and grace be seen in our life. AMEN.
Impose the ashes, using the words
“God forgives you. Jesus asks you to follow him”
In response to the imposition of ashes, we receive the absolution
God forgives us; be at peace.
THE LORD’S PRAYER:
Ever loving God, we pray, united in Christ and secure in the promise that you will hear and answer us. With boldness we pray as Christ teaches us:
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. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Be Still and Know
Be still and know that I am God. x3
I am the God that healeth thee. x3
In thee, O God, I put my trust. X3
Christ give you grace to grow in holiness, to deny yourself, and to take up your cross and follow him. With his strength may you bear your own and one another’s burdens and the blessing of God, Creator, Redeemer and Life Giver be with you and remain with you for ever. Amen.
Go now to love and serve the Lord. Go in Peace.
Amen. We do in the name of Christ