A Short Devotional Liturgy for Ash Wednesday

This short devotional liturgy can be used in the home, or for the beginning of a school day or a church meeting. It can also be used at any time during the Lenten season.

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Be gracious to me, God, according to your mercy.
Erase my acts of rebellion according to the greatness of your compassion.
(Psalm 51:1)

O God,
you do not desire the death of sinners,
but you want them to turn to you and live.
Look with pity on the weakness of our mortal nature.
We confess that we are but ashes,
and for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust.
Forgive all our sins,
and give us the blessings that come with true repentance;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Isaiah 59 or another portion of Scripture is read.

Isaiah 59:12-20

Yes, our rebellious deeds are many before you, and our sins testify against us. Our rebellious deeds are with us, and as for our guilty deeds, we are aware of them. 13 Those deeds are rebellion and treachery against the Lord. We turn back from following our God. We incite oppression and apostasy. We conceive and mutter deceitful words from our hearts. 14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away, for truth stumbles in the city square, and honesty cannot enter it. 15 The truth is missing, and anyone who turns from evil makes himself prey. The Lord looked and saw something evil— there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no one. He was appalled that there was no one who could intervene. So his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness supported him. 17 He clothed himself with righteousness like armor and wore a helmet of salvation on his head. He dressed in garments for vengeance, and he wrapped himself with zeal like a cloak. 18 He will repay in full what they have earned, namely, wrath to his foes and full payment to his enemies. He will repay even the distant coastlands. 19 From the west they will fear the Lord’s name, and from the rising of the sun they will fear his glory, for he will come like a raging river, driven by the Spirit of the Lord. 20 Then a redeemer will come for Zion and for those in Jacob who turn from rebellion. This is the declaration of the Lord. (EHV)

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Let us pray.
Lord God, heavenly Father,
as the result of his rebellion,
you told father Adam,
“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
We have followed Adam in his rebellion,
and have earned the same reward.
Lift us up from this dust of death
by the rising of your Son Jesus Christ.
Restore us to life with you
by forgiveness through his blood.
Empower us to walk with him in newness of life,
and in the obedience that leads to righteousness.
Finally, on the Last Day,
raise us from the dust of death
to live in the joy of your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand;
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one true God, now and forever.
Amen.

During these days of Lent, may the Lord focus our hearts on our Lord Jesus Christ as we look to him for cleansing from all our sin and follow him in his obedience.

The blessing of almighty God, the Father, the + Son and the Holy Spirit be with us all.
Amen.

__________

This devotional liturgy and original prayers are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

This devotion can be downloaded as a pdf here.

All scripture is taken from the Evangelical Heritage Version. www.wartburgproject.org

The opening prayer is freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, and can also be read here.

The closing prayer is newly composed by Paul C. Stratman © 2017, and can also be read here.

The short exhortation was written for this devotional liturgy.

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Published by

pastorstratman

Lutheran pastor serving St. Stephen's in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

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