Ash Wednesday

February 17, 2021

PDF of the bulletin


Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you 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.


A reading from Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

1 Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near, 2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations. 12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. 14Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God? 15Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; 16gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. 17 Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”

PSALM 103:8-14

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,*

long-suffering and of great kindness.

He will not always chide us,*

neither will he keep his anger for ever.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,*

nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,*

So great is his mercy great also toward those who fear him.

As far as the east is from the west,*

so far has he set our sins from us.

As a father pities his own children,*

so is the Lord merciful to those who fear him.

For he knows whereof we are made;*

he remembers that we are but dust.

A reading from 2 Corinthians 5:20—6:10

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.1Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 ESV

1Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when 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. 16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "

Psalm 51

Have mercy upon me, O God, in your great goodness; *

according to the multitude of your mercies wipe away my offenses.

Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness *

and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my faults, *

and my sin is ever before me.

Against you only have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight*

so that you are justified in your sentence, and blameless in your judgment

Behold, I was brought forth in wickedness *

and in sin my mother conceived me.

But behold, you desire truth in the inward parts, *

and shall make me understand wisdom secretly.

You shall purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; *

you shall wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

You shall make me hear of joy and gladness, *

that the bones which you have broken may rejoice.

Turn your face from my sins *

and blot out all my misdeeds.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, *

and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence *

and take not your holy Spirit from me.

O give me the comfort of your help again *

and sustain me with your willing Spirit.

Then shall I teach your ways unto the wicked, *

and sinners shall return unto you.

Deliver me from blood-guilt, O God, the God of my salvation; *

and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, *

and my mouth shall show forth your praise.

For you desire no sacrifice, or else I would give it to you; *

but you delight not in burnt-offerings.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you shall not despise.

O be favorable and gracious unto Zion; *

May you build up the walls of Jerusalem.

Then you shall be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness, with burnt-offerings and oblations; *

then shall they offer young bullocks upon your altar.