VISUAL ARTS (PARAMENTS, GENERAL DECORATIONS, SPECIFIC DECORATIONS)
CALL TO WORSHIP
One: Lord God, we gather today to lift praises to you.
All: We seek your presence with us now.
One: Humbly we stand before you, aware of your goodness and mercy.
All: We are thankful for your love which has no end.
One: Focus our hearts, minds, and bodies on worshipping you.
All: May we worship you with all that we are, remembering you gave everything for us and for the world that you love. Amen.
Creator God speak into being this day your kingdom in our lives. May we be open to your Spirit. May we follow your light into the world. Amen.
MUSIC (HYMNS, SONGS, ANTHEMS)
- Open Our Eyes Lord
- We Walk by Faith
- Take Up Your Cross
CALL TO CONFESSION
We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If we deny this, scripture tells us there is no truth found in us. We come together this day aware of our need for forgiveness and seeking to restore our relationship with God through Christ our Savior. Let us together pray our prayer of confession.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
O Lord Our God, we come before you now with heavy hearts. We know we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. Unburden our hearts this day, forgive us the times we have thought we knew better than you, as individuals and as your Church. Allow us to see with new eyes your mercy and hear with fresh ears your calling on our lives. We ask these things in your name. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
As we have sincerely unburdened our hearts before God, the Lord of mercy has heard and offers us forgiveness. In the name of Christ, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
God our helper, by your Holy Spirit open our minds,
That as the scriptures are read and your Word is proclaimed,
We may be led into your truth and be taught your will,
For the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SCRIPTURE TEXTS/SERMON IDEAS
- 2 Chronicles 7: 14
- Joel 2:12-14, 17
- Matthew 6:9-13
- Acts 2:1-2
SOCIAL MEDIA HELPS (VIDEOS, TAPED SONGS)
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
INVITATION TO THE OBSERVANCE
OF THE LENTEN DISCIPLINE
Friends in Christ,
Every year at the time of the Christian Passover
We celebrate our redemption
Through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lent is a time to prepare for this celebration and to renew our life in the paschal mystery.
We begin this this holy season by acknowledging our need for repentance,
And for the mercy and forgiveness
Proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus.
We begin our journey to Easter with this Day of Prayer and Fasting in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In the same way, we begin with the sign of ashes.
These ancient practices speak of the frailty and uncertainty of human life,
And marks the penitence of this community.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of Christ,
To observe a holy Lent by self-examination and penitence,
By works of love, and by reading and meditating on the Word of God.
I invite you in the name of Christ,
To continue to pray for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and remember your discernment that has come from this day of fasting.
- Psalm 51:1-12 read responsively
It is appropriate to begin Lent with both a day of prayer and fasting and Ash Wednesday. On this day of prayer and fasting with the worldwide Cumberland Presbyterian Church, we have joined (will join) today praying for the renewal and revival of the Church, seeking God’s Spirit and will as God’s people. We have fasted in order to experience the clarity that only God gives to us. And Ash Wednesday begins a journey of reflection—reflecting what we need to let go of and what we need to hold onto. And so we pray together:
Leader: Believing in Christ as our Lord and Savior, we come before you Lord God seeking to know you.
All: We believe Lord, help our unbelief.
Leader: Confessing together our shortcomings we seek your forgiveness and mercy.
All: We confess that we have not loved one another as we should.
Leader: Rejoicing in the forgiveness and mercy we have been shown, we praise your holy name.
All: We rejoice with songs in our hearts and on our lips.
Leader: Responding to your love we open our hearts to your will and guidance.
All: We respond with open hearts and open hands.
Leader: Recalling your acts throughout all times and places we share once more the joy of your redeeming love.
All: We recall, how very much we are loved and how very much you love the world.
Leader: Reminding one another of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ our Lord, we pause to acknowledge your sacrificial love.
All: We remember, help us to never forget.
Leader: Guided by your acts of mercy, lead us to respond with acts of mercy towards those we see as neighbors and those we see as enemies.
All: Guide us Lord, in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake.
Leader: Called upon to be your people, cause us to witness to the world, sharing the Good News with everyone we meet.
All: We are called to Christ’s service; may we follow that calling.
Leader: We seek to be renewed and revived so that the world might be filled with your light and love.
All: Revive us again! Let us be beacons of light shining your love into the world. Amen.
IMPOSITION OF ASHES
Almighty God, you have created us our of the dust of the earth.
May these ashes be for us a sign of our mortality and penitence,
And a reminder that only by your gracious gift are we given everlasting life;
Through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
(As the worship leader marks the forehead of each person with the ashes, using the following words: Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.)
Accomplish in us, O God, the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.
By the cross and passion of our Savior,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of Christ’s resurrection. Amen.
—Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church
INVITATION TO THE OFFERING
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
Go out into the world, with hearts cleaned and passions renewed to share the Good News, that Jesus Christ came into the world, not to condemn the world, but that through him the world might be saved! Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God.
(All quietly depart.)