Ash Wednesday

 Miramar United Methodist Church

Pastor David Range

Ash Wednesday Service of Worship

March 9, 2011


The worshipers arrive in silence.

Please ensure all electronic devices are also silenced.  Thank you.



            The Lord be with you.

            And also with you.



            Our help is in the name of the Lord,

            the maker of heaven and earth.  (from Psalm 121, 124)

            Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within   


            Hope in God; for we shall praise him, our help and our God.   

           (from Psalm 42)


HYMN 292                                                             What Wondrous Love Is This



            Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the

            mountains were brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting you are   


            Teach us, Lord, to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.

            Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we

            may rejoice and be glad all our days.  Through Christ, our Lord.

            Amen.  (from Psalm 90)


SCRIPTURE READING:           Joel 2: 1-2, 12-17


Matthew 6:5-6 read in unison:

Jesus taught his disciples, saying: And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 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. 


HYMN 297                                                                  Beneath the Cross of Jesus


REFLECTION                      “A Thousand Years of Ashes”


PRAYER OF CONFESSION            Psalm 51 as read from the hymnbook 785


HYMN 382                                                               Have Thine Own Way, Lord



We begin our journey to Easter with the sign of ashes. This ancient sign speaks of the frailty and uncertainty of human life, and calls us to place our hope in God alone. I invite you, therefore, in the name of Christ, to observe a holy Lent by self-examination and penitence, by prayer and fasting, by works of love, and by reading and meditating on the Word of God.



Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the earth. May these ashes be for us a sign of our frailty and penitence, and a reminder that only by your gracious gift are we given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.


You are welcome to come forward to receive the ashes on your bared forehead or the palm of your hand.



            Gracious God, out of your love and mercy

            you breathed into dust the breath of life,

            creating us to serve you and our neighbors.

            In this season of repentance,

            restore to us the joy of our salvation;

            strengthen us to face our mortality,

            that we may reach with confidence for your mercy;

            in Jesus Christ our Lord,

            who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

            one God, now and forever. Amen.


The Lord be with you And also with you

Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.  It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. You brought all things into being and called them good. From the dust of the earth you formed us into your image and breathed into us the breath of life. When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast. When rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights, you bore up the ark on the waters, saved Noah and his family, and made covenant with every living creature on earth. When you led your people to Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights, you gave your commandments and made us your covenant people. When your people forsook your covenant, your prophet Elijah fasted for forty days and forty nights; and on your holy mountain, he heard your still small voice. And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest


Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.

When you gave him to save us from our sin, your Spirit led him into the wilderness, where he fasted forty days and forty nights to prepare for his ministry.

When he suffered and died on a cross for our sin, you raised him to life, presented him alive to the apostles during forty days, and exalted him at your right hand. By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your Church, delivered us from slavery to sin and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. Now, when we your people prepare for the yearly feast of Easter, you lead us to repentance for sin and the cleansing of our hearts, that during these forty days of Lent we may be gifted and graced to reaffirm

On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.”


When the supper was over he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said: “Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving, as a holy and living sacrifice in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith. 


 Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.


Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and the blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet.

Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your Holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and forever. 



Everyone who seeks the Lord’s grace this Lenten season is invited to come, and receive the bread and the wine by tearing off a piece of bread and dipping it into the chalice, by intinction.


*Hymn of Commitment 402                                  Lord, I want to be a Christian



Please depart in silence.









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