Keep Calm, See God: Ash Wed. 2017
Below is an order of worship for an ecumenical Ash Wednesday service for 2017. This service was conceived by Rev. John H.D. Lucy (Jericho United Methodist Church), Rev. Steve Anderson (Covenant Community Church) & Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen (United Church of Underhill), and designed by Rev. Lucy.
“Keep Calm and See God “- Ecumenical Ash Wednesday Service, 2017
DEATH WITH GOD
Scripture Reading: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Hymn: “Sunday’s Palms Are Wednesday’s Ashes,” words, E. E. Whitney, music, B.F. White
Meditation on Ashes: Meditation on Joel text and centered around these thoughts: 1) we are mortals created by God, 2) we will die, 3) death need not make us anxious, 4) keep calm, turn back to God to put our death, and our life, in God’s care.
Invitation to Holy Lent
Thanksgiving Over Ashes
Imposition of Ashes
Words of Assurance
Responsive Psalm: Psalm 51:1-17
Hymn: “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” words, Faber, music, Tourjee
Meditation on Water: 1) Rocks placed in water symbolizing God as our foundation, as our Ebenezer, 2) stir in ashes and talk about how when we become anxious about death and mortality our thoughts become clouded and we cannot see God, 3) when we accept who we are, our human condition, and calm down, the ashes calm down, the water clears, and we can once again see God, 4) end by inviting congregation to come forward to pick up a rock.
LIFE IN GOD
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Hymn: “Depth of Mercy,” words, C. Wesley, music, O. Gibbons
Meditation on Communion: Meditation on 2 Corinthians 6:9-10 and centered around these thoughts : 1) discuss the life we have in God even if it seems like we are foolish, poor, or dying, 2) when our life and faith is grounded in God, our Creator and our foundation, 3) we are able to move through death, are able to see God more clearly, and 4) we are able to find grace/mercy/life, 5) Holy Communion is a reminder, an unforgetting of grace/mercy/life that God brings.
One: With these ashes we have been reminded that we are mortals.
MANY: Our lives are in God’s care.
One: We have accepted we will return to dust.
MANY: We have seen and felt God.
One: We have tasted God’s flesh and blood.
MANY: So that we may have life on our Lenten faith journey! Amen.
Departing Chant: “Kyrie Eleison”
© Rev. John Lucy, 2017