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    Today Is: Ash Wednesday
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 -- The Lectionary Cycle is: A

Click for Responsorial Psalm

Collect for: Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament
Joel 2:1-2, 2:12-17

1 Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand: 2 A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations.

12 Now, therefore,' says the LORD, 'Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.' 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him -- A grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God? 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; 16 Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. 17 Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, 'Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?' '

Officiant: The Word of the Lord.
The People: Thanks be to God.


Psalm
Psalm 51

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight -- That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart -- These, O God, You will not despise. 18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

*At the end of the Psalms this is sung or said
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.


New Testament
2 Corinthians 5:20-21, 6:1-2

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: 'In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.' Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Officiant: The Word of the Lord.
The People: Thanks be to God.


Gospel
Matthew 6:1-8, 6:16-18

Introduction to the Gospel:
Deacon:The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you. Or And with your spirit
Deacon: May the Lord be on our minds, on our lips, and on our hearts as we hear His Holy Gospel. The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.
People: Glory to You, Lord Christ.
Deacon: We are reading from Matthew's Gospel chapter 6, beginning at verse 1.

1 Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. 5 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 16 Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

After the Gospel reading, the deacon elevates the book and says:

Deacon: The Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to You, Lord Christ.

Prayers of the People

Prayers of the People for: Ash Wednesday

Brothers and sisters, since our trust is in God alone, let us bring our needs and the needs of the whole world before Him.

That the Church, as Christ's ambassador, will faithfully represent the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That governments will uphold the sanctity of all human life.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That the world will be awakened to the admonition of Scripture, that the day of the Lord is near and 'Today' is the day of salvation.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That we will be humble and obedient servants of God and our fellow man.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That during this Lenten season we will be reminded to keep our eyes on the things above and not on the things of this earth.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That the poor, the lonely, the abandoned and the needy will experience Christ through the love and care of His people.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That our schools will become centers for sound learning, teaching Jesus as the source of all truth.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


For our own special intentions. (Pause)
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


Loving Father, You are gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Hear our prayer and give us the grace to remain faithful to the end.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. AMEN