Ash Wednesday. True Fasting.

Wednesday 17th Feb 2021: Ash Wednesday. True Fasting.

Image Credit: CHANGE by Yuriy Akopov licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Service

Words for the Service

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Amen

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

And also with you

Collect

Holy God, our lives are laid open before you: rescue us from the chaos of sin and through the death of your son bring us healing and make us whole in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Confession

All: Father eternal, giver of light and grace, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour, in what we have thought in what we have said and done, through ignorance, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We have wounded your love and marred your image in us. We are sorry and ashamed and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and lead us out from darkness, to walk as children of light. Amen

Imposition of Ashes

Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us access to his grace. Amen

God of our pilgrimage, refresh and sustain us as we go forward on our journey, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Christ give you grace to grow in holiness, to deny yourselves, take up your cross and follow Him; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always. Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ: Amen.

Readings

Isaiah 58:1-12

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and declare unto my people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways: as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God, they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near unto God.

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find your own pleasure, and exact all your labors.

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and contention, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye fast not this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Jehovah?

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy healing shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of Jehovah shall be thy rearward.

9 Then shalt thou call, and Jehovah will answer; thou shalt cry, and he will say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking wickedly;

10 and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then shall thy light rise in darkness, and thine obscurity be as the noonday;

11 and Jehovah will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in dry places, and make strong thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

John 8:1-11

1 but Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and the Pharisees bring a woman taken in adultery; and having set her in the midst,

4 they say unto him, Teacher, this woman hath been taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such: what then sayest thou of her?

6 And this they said, trying him, that they might have whereof to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.

7 But when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.

9 And they, when they heard it, went out one by one, beginning from the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst.

10 And Jesus lifted up himself, and said unto her, Woman, where are they? did no man condemn thee?

11 And she said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn thee: go thy way; from henceforth sin no more.