Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Then & Now

Here's me and Bitty Bantam last year on Ash Wednesday (2/9)! Since Papa Rooster is a priest, he and I and Blondechick13 held our own little service at the hospital while we were waiting for labor to get going. It was hard to feel properly penitential, though, on a day of such rejoicing. It was one of my best births, too.

Today our whole family will attend one of the three services at church. It's a popular service; there will be a lot of college students there as well as folks from other churches. It's a beautifully sober service rich in symbolism and appeal to the senses--kneeling, silence, darkness, the ashes of last year's Palm Sunday palms, the mark of the cross on the forehead.

Litany of Penitence

The Celebrant and People together, all kneeling

Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

The Celebrant continues

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and
strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We
have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us.
We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved
your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the
pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation
of other people,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those
more fortunate than ourselves,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and
our dishonesty in daily life and work,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to
commend the faith that is in us,
We confess to you, Lord.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done:
for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our
indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our
neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those
who differ from us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of
concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.

(The entire service is here.)


owlhaven said...

cute pix!!

Linsey said...

Cute picture!

Donna Boucher said...


I am happy that you left a comment at my blog! I very much appreciate learning about your faith.

I grew up Lutheran...spent many years attending the Baptist Churches and now my husband is leading... and he would like to return to his roots, the Catholic church.

I like following the church year. My husband is not leading us to extra services so we will not be attending Ash Wednesday service....but I know his faith is in God's hands...and I am not going to lead him anymore.

I love finding the faithful in the various churches. Christ's presence is found in many more churches than 'some' would have us believe.

Blessings to you on Ash Wednesday!


Jennifer said...

What is the symbolism behind buring the palm leaves from last year? (this is where I get frustrated at my own church that plays with a lot of these things like Ash Wed and Lent, but doesnt engage in them the same full way a church like Rez would)

At A Hen's Pace said...

Jennifer--I think the answer is just the intuitive one--the burning of our hopes for a kingdom that is of this world, when our true home is a spiritual one.

I'll check with my hubby, too. He might know of something else. A lot of symbols have many layers!

Jennifer said...

Thanks! I loved reading through the service you posted. I'm looking forward to our church's service tonight, though Im not sure what to expect.