On March 1, billions of Catholics around the world will celebrate Ash Wednesday. It is a general thought that Catholicism is the only religion that celebrates Ash Wednesday and Lent, but many other Christian religions celebrate it as well, including Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans and Anglicans. Ash Wednesday occurs 46 days before Easter. It’s the official beginning of Lent, which represents the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the dessert, where he endured temptation by Satan. This is a period of prayer and fasting. Of the 46 days until Easter, six are Sundays. Sundays are not included in the fasting period and are instead "feast" days during Lent. To mark the beginning of this period, here are 5 prayers.
Prayer for Aid in Fasting
Hanging as a vine upon the Wood,
O Christ our Saviour,
Thou hast made the ends of the earth
to drink from the wine of incorruption.
Therefore do I cry aloud:
I am darkened always by the hateful drunkenness of sin;
Give me to drink from the sweet wine of true compunction,
and grant me now the strength, O Savior,
to fast from sensual pleasures,
for Thou art good and lovest mankind.
Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
All that is not of God must die
All that is crushed will be restored
All that is lost will be made new
God may we repent of ways that do not serve you
And admit to the tensions that tell us where we need to change
Christ is coming walking towards the cross
God may we see him clearly
Pouring out love
Pouring out mercy
Pouring out peace
May we kneel before him in humble adoration
May we take up our cross and follow
And walk with Christ into the ways of life
Prayer to Jesus
You chose a people for your own,
to lavish love upon,
raise up prophets, priests and kings,
to be the nation through which
the Messiah would be revealed to the world,
and through whom your kingdom would come.
You chose this people gathered here
to be your children, loved and blessed,
forgiven through the one who knew no sin,
the King of Glory whose crown was made of thorns,
and whose name we raise in worship.
Lord, grant us simplicity of faith
and a generosity of service t
hat gives without counting cost.
A life overflowing with Grace
poured out from the One who gave everything,
that we might show the power of love to a broken world,
and share the truth from a living Word.
Lord, grant us simplicity of faith,
and a yearning to share it.
Jesus, Lamb of God
Jesus, Lamb of God,
when you walked this earth
you did not consider heavenly equality,
though that was yours to choose,
but took the role of servant,
and in humility and obedience
allowed the rough nails of our sin
to be hammered into your flesh
for the sake of our salvation.
And so it is
that we acknowledge you
as Lord of all,
to the glory of God the Father,
Son and Spirit, Three.