Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a time set aside to examine our ways, repent our failings and imitate God’s love and mercy. The practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving as well as the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy are encouraged. The season culminates in the Easter liturgies, the Triduum, as the church recalls the paschal mystery. With hope and grace, we welcome this season of repentance and renewal.
- Lord Jesus, you welcome the sinner, Lord, have mercy.
- Christ Jesus, you heal the wounds of humankind, Christ, have mercy.
- Lord Jesus, lead us in ways of your love and grace, Lord, have mercy.
- Jl 2:12-18 Return to God who is kind and merciful
- Ps 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 12-13, 14 and 17 God renews the hearts of imperfect men and women
- 2 Cor 5:20-6:2 Now is the time to be reconciled
- Mt 6:1-16, 16-18 Without fanfare, pray, fast and give alms
Prayer of the Faithful
Presider My friends, let us pray for the needs of all gathered here and the needs of our world.
Minister For the church as we enter this holy season, for detachment from things that distract us from what matters most, for grace to return to God with all our hearts ... we pray,
- For our country, for responsible leadership and civil dialogue among us; for courage to speak for those who have no voice, for compassion to care for the poor, and for perseverance to pursue the common good ... we pray,
- For grace to enter these 40 days with openness to the Holy Spirit; to seek the merciful Lord in prayer, fasting and generosity ... we pray,
- For the sick and those who live with chronic illness, for those who daily face addiction or live with depression, for surrender to the grace of God’s healing love ... we pray,
- For all who have died, with hope in the Lord’s promise of eternal life, we remember______ (names) and for all of our beloved dead ... we pray,
Presider Gracious God, you who are the source of mercy and love, open our hearts to the joy of repentance and renewal. Help us embrace the opportunity to take stock of our lives and be renewed in faith. As you give us wisdom to do your will, lead us always in your love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.