The March/April 2017 edition of Federated Findings is available by clicking here. Happy reading!
Ash Wednesday March 1
We are excited to announce that we will have an Ash Wednesday worship gathering on Wednesday, March 1 at 7:00pm to mark the start of the season of Lent and reflect upon the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
What is Lent?
Lent is a season of preparation and repentance used to anticipate the events of Good Friday and Easter. Having just finished Christmas, you recall how much preparation goes into that season. But how much preparing do we do for Good Friday and Easter? Relatively little. While Easter doesn’t tend to have all the decorative and festive entrapments of a contemporary Christmas celebration, it is essential that we prepare our hearts, minds, and spirits for the death and resurrection of our Lord.
Lent is a forty day period starting on Ash Wednesday and ending at the conclusion of Holy Week (not counting Sundays—every Sunday is a celebration day of Jesus’ resurrection!). The forty days recalls both the Israelites’ forty years in the desert and Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the wilderness.
What do we do at an Ash Wednesday worship service?
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and this is why Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is the day before—a time of feasting and revelry before the fast (a little too much revelry nowadays, perhaps).
The aims of worship on Ash Wednesday are three: to reflect on our own mortality, sinfulness, and need for a savior; to renew our commitment to daily repentance and turn towards Christ; and to gratefully recall that Jesus has conquered sin and death on our behalf.
Our gathering will reflect these aims with meditative liturgy and music as well as being marked by ashes—which symbolize sorrow, mourning, frailty, and repentance.