ASH WEDNESDAY 

~ Service Of Reflection ~

February 17, 2021

This service includes the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

If you would like to partake, please take a moment prior to watching the service to prepare a small piece of bread or cracker as well as a cup of wine or juice. 

 

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP

Creator of all that is, draw us close to you in this time of worship that we might rejoice, for you give power to the faint and you strengthen the powerless. Bind us together, so we will go from this place prepared to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint as we live each day as disciples of Jesus, in whose name we pray.  Amen.

(tap on the video to watch the service)

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PRELUDE

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

SOLOMN DECLARATION & CALL TO WORSHIP

Pastor:  Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.

People: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all God’s benefits.

Pastor:   Who forgives all your iniquity, who heals you,

People: Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.

Pastor:  Who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

People: Bless the Lord, O my soul.                                                          

 “Touch Holiness” by Ruth C. Duck

 

UNISON PRAYER

O God, maker of everything and judge over all you have made, from the dust of the earth you have formed us and from the dust of death you would raise us up.  By the redemptive power of the cross, create in us clean hearts and put within us a new spirit, that we may repent of our sinfulness and lead lives worthy of your calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. 

“Touch Holiness” by Ruth C. Duck

HYMN  

“More Love To You, O Christ”

                                            

More love to you, O Christ, more love to you!

Hear now the prayer I make, faith to renew.

In all I say and do, more love, O Christ to you,

More love to you, more love to you!

 

Once earthy joy I craved, sought peace and rest;

Now you alone I seek, give what is best:

In all I say and do, more love, O Christ to you,

More love to you, more love to you!

 

Then, shall my latest breath whisper your praise;

This be the parting cry my heart shall raise:

In all I say and do, more love, O Christ to you,

More love to you, more love to you!

 

SCRIPTURE READINGS

Isaiah 58: 1-12

Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

 

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

 

If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

 

Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-21

Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

And whenever 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.

 

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. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rustconsumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

TEACHING TIME

 

PSALM OF CONFESSION 

Psalm 51: 1-17

Pastor:   Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness

People: In your great compassion blot out my offenses.

Pastor:  Wash me through and through from my wickedness

People: And cleanse me from my sin.

Pastor:  For I know my transgressions

People: And my sin is ever before me.

Pastor:   Against You I have sinned

People: And done what is evil in your sight.

Pastor:   Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure;

People: Wash me, and I shall be purer than snow.

Pastor:   Make me hear of joy and gladness,

People: That the body you have broken may rejoice.

Pastor:   Hide your face from my sins

People: And blot out all my iniquities.

Pastor:   Create in me a clean heart, O God,

People: And renew a right spirit within me.

Pastor:   Cast me not away from your presence,

People: And do not take your Holy Spirit from me.

Pastor:   Restore to me the joy of your salvation

People: And sustain in me a willing spirit.

Pastor:   Then I will teach transgressors your ways

People: And sinners will return to you.

Pastor:  Deliver me from death, O God

People: And my tongue shall sing of your righteousness, O God of my salvation.

Pastor:   O Lord, open my lips,

People: And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Pastor:   Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice

People: But you take no delight in burnt offering.  The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit:  A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

 

MOMENT OF SILENCE

 

KYRIE

Pastor:   Lord, have mercy upon us.

People: Lord, have mercy upon us.

Pastor:   Christ, have mercy upon us.

People: Christ, have mercy upon us.

Pastor:  Lord, have mercy upon us.

People: Lord, have mercy upon us.

 

ASSURANCE OF GOD’S FORGIVENESS

PASTORAL PRAYER

 

~ Sacrament Of Holy Communion ~

 

INVITATION TO COMMUNION

Tonight, we come together to recall the fullness of the journey of our Christ. We remember his servant leadership and the unconditional love he had for humankind. Here and now, we give thanks for the steadfast love of God that we see reflected in Jesus the Christ.  We are grateful for one another and for all the saints who have come to the table throughout history and to those who will gather here after we have returned to dust. With appreciation, we give thanks to the hands who have harvested the grapes and grains before us.  In a spirit of active thanksgiving, we commit ourselves as servants to God’s children, finding new ways of bringing justice, righteousness and love to the shadows on this earth. May the Spirit come upon these elements. May the Spirit fill our hearts with love, kindness and acceptance. May the Spirit continue to aid us in our work in the world. May the Spirit empower us as we walk through these 40 days in the wilderness, as we face the sadness of the crucifixion and as we wait for the Christ’s resurrection.

 

As Jesus continued on his journey, he could see that his time was drawing nearer.  Our Christ knew that his love and leadership would take him to the cross.  And as the final night was upon him, he drew close to his friends.  To embrace the love he had with them, he shared one last table.

Jesus embraced the bread in his weathered hands, broke it, gave it to his friends asking them to remember him.  Jesus clasped the cup containing the fruit of the vine, gave thanks one last time and asked them to remember him.                                               

                                                                                frommichelletorigian.com

LORD’S PRAYER 

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. 

 

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION

Consecrate therefore by your Holy Spirit, both us and these gifts of bread and cup, and bless us so we might offer to you our faith and our praise, we may be united with Christ and with each other, and remain faithful to you Holy God for the rest of our lives.

 

BREAKING OF THE BREAD AND POURING OF THE WINE

The bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ…The cup of blessing which we bless is the communion of  the blood of Christ.

 

INVITATION

These are the gifts of God for the people of God.  All things are ready.

 

SHARING OF THE ELEMENTS

Take and eat, this is the body of Christ broken for you.

(You may partake of the bread at this time and pause for a moment of prayer and reflection)

Take and drink, this is the blood of Christ shed for you.

(You may partake of the wine at this time and pause for a moment of prayer and reflection)

                                    

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING 

Even as we come to the table tonight remembering our frailty we also give God our thanks for this meal.  We give our gratitude that we have come together as one Body of Christ.  In these next 40 days and as we walk the road to the crucifixion, continue to keep us awake to the ways we can bring Jesus the Christ’s servant-leadership to our world.  Amen.

 

HYMN

“Amazing Grace”

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind but now I see.

 

Through many dangers, toils, and snares

I have already come;

‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

 

BENEDICTION

 

CHIMES & POSTLUDE MUSIC

 

Permission to reproduce / podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

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  ~ UPCOMING SERVICES ~

 

Sunday, February 21

9:00AM – Worship Service

10:15AM – Worship & Music Team

 

Wednesday, February 24

7:00PM – Mid-Week Lenten Service @ St. Mark’s UCC

 

There will be no mid-week Lenten services at St. John’s this year. You are invited to worship with St. Mark’s UCC each Wednesday evening during Lent. In-person services will be held at 7:00PM and will also be livestreamed for those who prefer to worship from home.