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.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy blot out our transgressions.  (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.

Isaiah 59 or another portion of Scripture is read.

Isaiah 59:12-20

For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: 13 transgressing, and denying the Lordand turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. 14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. 15 Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him  that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. 17 He put on  righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. 19 So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream,  which the wind of the Lord drives. 20 “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord(ESV)

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.

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.


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 English Standard Version.

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.

Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries

Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries

Written for the Sunday and Festival themes in the Revised Common Lectionary. 

The prayers, all newly composed, are written in classic collect form and find their themes in the readings for each Sunday in the lectionary. This book gives additional options for the Prayer of the Day/Opening Prayer. These prayers may also be used for concluding petitions in the Prayer of the Church (Prayers of Intercession or Prayers of the People) or may be used as closing prayers that fit thematically with the readings of the day. Pastors, lectors and worship planners may find this to be a valuable resource for prayers in the worship service.

Because the prayers focus mainly on the themes in the Gospels, the prayers are compatible or usable with Revised Common Lectionary, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Lutheran Service Book, ILCW, Roman Catholic and Episcopal lectionaries.

Available from Amazon.com in paperback and for Kindle.

Only Two Weeks until St. Patrick’s Day!

Discover the depths of the Celtic Christians’ faith with these two volumes from the editor of A Collection of Prayers.

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is a collection of prayers from the time of Patrick (d. ca. 460-493) to the Synod of Whitby (664), and also from the Celtic Christian tradition that remained after Whitby. A few of the prayers in this book may be familiar from their appearance in other prayer books. Some may be appearing in English for the first time. All prayers (with one exception) are rendered or revised into contemporary English with the hopes that they will be useful in private and corporate worship. Includes prayers from The Antiphonary of Bangor, The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, The Book of Cerne, The Book of Dimma, St. Patrick, St. Columba and many other sources.

Available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon.com.

The Antiphonary of Bangor and The Divine Offices of Bangor

This book is a new translation of the Antiphonary of Bangor into contemporary liturgical English. The Antiphonary of Bangor is a book of canticles and prayers that were used in Bangor Abbey’s liturgies of the hours with special prayers and elements for Easter Eve, Easter Day, Eastertide, Saturdays and Sundays and on festivals of Martyrs. It was written by hand, sometime around A. D. 680. It is significant for two main reasons. It shows us a worship tradition that developed in a different way than the Roman Rite. While some of the canticles, hymns and prayers in the Antiphonary are also found in the Roman Rite, many are unique. It also shows us some of the theology of the Celtic Christians.

Available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon.com.

Our True Rest

Lord of heaven and earth,
reveal your glory to us
in our Lord Jesus Christ,
so that we may lay
our sin and guilt
and all the burdens of life
on him,
and find in him
our true rest;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, © 2019 from Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries, Collect for Proper 9 / Pentecost 7, Year A, based on Matthew 11:25–30.

The Bidding Prayer

By ancient usage this Prayer was specially appointed for Good Friday. It may also be used on Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. This prayer is intended to be read by an assisting minister (denoted by A) at a lectern and by the presiding minister or pastor (denoted by M) standing at the altar. A short pause of silence should be observed between the bid and the prayer.

A Brothers and sisters, let us pray for the whole Christian Church, that our Lord God would keep and defend it against all the assaults and temptations of the adversary, and to keep it always on the true foundation, Jesus Christ.

M Almighty and eternal God, you have revealed your glory to all nations in Jesus Christ and the Word of his truth. Keep the works of your mercy in safety, that your Church, spread throughout all nations, may serve you in true faith and persevere in the confession of your name; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.


A Let us pray for the ministers of the Word, for all the people of God.

M Almighty and eternal God, by your Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified. Receive the prayers we offer you, that all members of your church in their vocations and ministries may server you in truth and godliness; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.


A Let us pray for those instructed in the Christian faith, that our Lord God would open their hearts and the door of his mercy, that having received the forgiveness of all their sins by the washing of regeneration, they may remember their baptism and remain firm in the faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.

M Almighty and eternal God, you always cause your Church to grow, and with your light and grace you strengthen the hearts of those you have given new birth through water and the Spirit. Grant that those instructed in the Christian faith increase both in faith and knowledge, that they may rejoice in their baptism and grow as members of the holy body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.


A Let us pray for all in authority, and especially for the Government of the United States, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

M O merciful Father in heaven, you hold in your hand all the might of the nations, and you have ordained the powers that be for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of those who do well. Yours is all rule and authority in the kingdoms of the world. Graciously regard your servants, the President of the United States, the Governor of this Commonwealth, our judges  and officers, and all the rulers of the earth, that all who receive the sword as your servants, may bear it according to your commands; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.


A Let us pray our Lord God almighty that he would deliver the world from all error, take away disease, ward off famine, open the prisons, set free those in bondage, grant a safe return to the travelers, health to the sick, and a harbor of security for those at sea.

M Almighty and eternal God, the Consolation of the sorrowful, and the Strength of the weak: Graciously hear the prayers of those who cry to you in any trouble or distress so that in all their needs they may see and receive your great help and comfort; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.

Here one or more of the following Collects may be said:

For the Unity in the Faith

M O God, you restore to the right way those who have gone astray. You gather those who are scattered and preserve those who are gathered. In your tender mercy, pour on your Christian people the grace of unity, that, all divisions being healed, your flock, united to the true Shepherd of your Church, may worthily serve you; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.

For the Heathen

M Almighty and eternal God, you do not desire the death of a sinner but want all people to repent and live. Hear our prayers for the heathen. Take away sin from their hearts and turn them from their idols to the living and true God and to your only Son, and gather them into your holy Church to the glory of your name; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.

For the Jews

M Almighty and eternal God, you love to show mercy. Hear the prayers which we offer for your ancient people, that, acknowledging Jesus Christ as the Light of truth they may be delivered from their darkness; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.

A Let us pray for peace, that we may come to the knowledge of God’s holy Word, and walk before him as is fitting for Christians.

M Almighty and eternal God, King of Glory, and Lord of heaven and earth, by your Spirit all things are governed, by your providence all things are ordered. You are the God of peace, and the Author of all concord. Grant us your heavenly peace and concord, that we may serve you in true fear, to the praise and glory of your name; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.


A Let us pray for our enemies, that God would remember them in mercy, and graciously give them whatever is needful for them and profitable for their salvation.

M O almighty and eternal God, through your only Son, our blessed Lord, you commanded us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us and to pray for them that persecute us. Lead all our enemies to true repentance, that they may have the same love and be of one mind and heart with us and with your whole Christian Church; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.


A Let us pray for the fruits of the earth, that God would send down his blessing on them, and graciously move our hearts to enjoy them in submission to his holy will.

M O Lord, Father almighty, by your Word you created and bless and uphold all things. Reveal to us your Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, that he would dwell in our hearts, and that by your grace we may receive your blessing on all the fruits of the earth and whatever pertains to our bodily needs; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C Amen.


A Finally, let us pray for all those things for which our Lord would have us ask, saying:

C Our Father…

Source: The Bidding Prayer is modified from The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, © 1917, 1918 The United Lutheran Church in America.

This modification © Paul C. Stratman and http://www.acollectionofprayers.com.

The bid and petition for the catechumens was reworked and newly composed in part for this version of the Bidding Prayer.

This modification of the Bidding Prayer from The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for permission for any commercial use.

Praise and Guidance

Almighty, most holy,
most high, and supreme God,
highest good, all good, wholly good,
you alone are good,
to you we render all praise, all glory,
all thanks, all honor, all blessing,
and we shall always ascribe all good to you.

Almighty, eternal, just, and merciful God,
help us wretches to do for you
what we know is your will
and always desire whatever is pleasing to you.
Purify us within, enlighten us within,
kindle us with the flame of your Holy Spirit,
so we may be able to follow in the footsteps of your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
and by your grace alone
come to you, the Most High,
who in perfect Trinity and simple unity lives and reigns and glorifies God Almighty for ever and ever. Amen.

Source: Francis of Assisi, 13th Century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.


Almighty, most holy, most high and supreme God,
holy and just Father,
Lord, king of heaven and earth,
we give thanks to you because by your holy will,
and by your only Son
you created all things spiritual and corporal in the Holy Spirit,
made us in your image and likeness and placed us in paradise,
where we fell by our own fault.
We give you thanks
that just as you created us by your Son,
so by your true and holy love,
you sent him as true God and true man,
to be born….
And we give you thanks because your Son himself
will come again in the glory of his Majesty
… to say to all who have known you and adored you,
and served you in repentance:
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Since we wretches and sinners are not worthy to name you,
we humbly pray
that our Lord Jesus Christ,
your beloved Son
in whom you are well pleased,
together with the Holy Spirit,
the Counselor,
may give thanks to you as it is pleasing to you. 

Source: Francis of Assisi, 13th Century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.