Wednesday, February 17th is Ash Wednesday, the traditional threshold into the season of Lent. With Christians around the world, we enter into the holy season of Lent with penitence to prepare our hearts and lives for Holy Week. Ashes have long been an outward and visible sign of an inner spiritual reflection on our mortality, our human limitations and failings.
This year, Ash Wednesday falls just after Valentine’s Day, a powerful reminder of our need for God’s all-encompassing love for us. One of the Hebrew Scripture readings assigned by our Lectionary for Ash Wednesday is taken from the book of Joel. God implores us: “Return to me with all your heart.” (Joel 2: 12) Together, let us return to God on Ash Wednesday, God who is longing to welcome us home.
Trinity Episcopal Church will offer two ways to cross this ritual threshold into Lent on Ash Wednesday.
First, at 12:00 noon on our Labyrinth, we will offer an outdoor and socially-distanced prayer and ‘touchless sprinkling’ of ashes on our heads. Permit me to remind you that the imposition of ashes is considered optional according to our Book of Common Prayer. We can meditate upon our penitence and mortality without wearing ashes upon our body.
Apparently, sprinkling of ashes on the head is a more ancient practice than making the sign of the cross on the forehead! So, to be safe, this year, we will return to this more ancient practice.
Second, we will offer a live-streaming Ash Wednesday Service at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, February 17h. Please join us in heart and mind and spirit as we pray together! When we arrive at the place in the liturgy for the imposition of ashes (p. 265 Book of Common Prayer) we will offer instead moments of quiet reflection. We will invite you - in your own homes - to your own individual observance on mortality and penitence.
“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church,
to the observance of a holy Lent …”
The Rev. andrea castner wyatt
The Rev. Andrea Castner Wyatt is honored to accept the call of Trinity Episcopal Church to serve and lead as Rector. She looks forward with joy to walking with the people of Trinity Church, and to discovering with you what Jesus is up to in Newtown, CT. Contact Rev. Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 203-426-9070.