THE COLLECT FOR ASH WEDNESDAY
To be said every day in Lent.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou has 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.
Beloved in Christ,
It’s hard to imagine but the season of Lent is upon us once again.
Lent is a season of penitence and fasting as we prepare ourselves to observe the events of Holy Week—the days of our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection—with great devotion and sincerity. Traditionally, it is a season when…
- Converts to the faith were instructed and prepared for baptism, and,
- People who had been separated from the community of faith “by reason of notorious sins” were reconciled and restored to the Church by penitence and forgiveness (you heard that right!).
Lent is, therefore, a season when we keep in the forefront of our minds the wonderfully liberating news of the Gospel: that God, in Jesus Christ, is forgiving sinners. In light of that joyful truth, we examine ourselves and keep in mind our continual need for the renewal that the Holy Spirit works in us by repentance and faith. Here are some ways that you can observe a holy Lent this year.
“But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you,” (Matthew 6:6).
- Feast on the Word: Join us at 7:30pm on Tuesdays in Lent (beginning March 1) for our Bible Study. You can download our Bible Study Guide HERE. Zoom link HERE.
- Ash Wednesday – Join us on Wednesday, March 2 at 10:30am (St Paul’s) and 7:00pm (St John’s) as we begin our Lenten journey with a penitential service that will include Holy Communion and the imposition of ashes.
- Download and read our Lenten devotional that includes daily reflections from Anglicans across Canada. Click HERE.
- Sundays in Lent – Make a concerted effort to participate in our Sunday liturgies at 9:30am and 11:15am.
- Pray the Daily Office – Pray online HERE or download an app for your mobile device HERE. It couldn’t be easier!
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation: During Lent you may feel led by the Spirit to confess your own sins to God. The Prayer Book provides a brief and uncomplicated rite for this which you can read more about HERE. If you feel so led please contact me and we will make an appointment. THIS RESOURCE may also be a helpful study.
- Do you have small children in your life? Here’s a Lenten guide to use at home.
“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting,” (Matthew 6:16).
- Days of fasting: The Prayer Book appoints both Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as Major Fast Days. Some people will do a complete fast (no food) but you may elect to do a partial fast consisting of one meal (usually dinner) and two small snacks (which when combined should not be greater than the evening meal).
- Abstinence: The forty days of Lent are appointed as Days of Abstinence. Traditionally, Christians will abstain from eating meat but you may opt to abstain from something else.
- The emphasis of these acts of self-denial is on spiritual rather than physical transformation!
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matthew 6:19-21).
- It is customary during Lent to examine one’s finances and consider one’s patterns of giving. Am I faithfully stewarding what God has given me? Do I give joyfully or reluctantly? How tightly do I cling to worldly goods? Am I remembering the poor and those in need? Am I tithing to my church?
With this in mind “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.”
Under the mercy.