Liturgy for Ash Wednesday

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Grace, mercy and peace from God Our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit be with you all
and also with you

We say together the words of the entrance Antiphon:

Lord, you are merciful to all, and hate nothing you have created. You overlook the sins of men to bring them to repentance. You are the Lord our God. (Wisdom 11:24-25,27)

My dear friends in Christ, we come together this evening to begin our Lenten journey, a journey which will take us from this place to the foot of the cross and through to the glories of his resurrection.

The traditions of Ash Wednesday are a recognition of the importance of penitence in a healthy and vibrant Christian life: that none of us can live up to the tremendous vocation that is ours as Christians. We are in constant need of the mercy and forgiveness of God.

Today we express this by taking part in a corporate act of penitence and reconciliation, beseeching God for the grace to use this season of Lent as a time of spiritual preparation and devotion. As a sign of this, we will later mark our foreheads with Ash taken from last year’s Palm Crosses, blessed on Palm Sunday and remind ourselves that we are but dust, and to dust we will surely return.

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word

No Gloria in Lent

The Collect

Let us pray for the grace to keep Lent faithfully…

protect us in our struggle against evil.
As we begin the discipline of Lent,
make this day holy by our self-denial.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

First Reading: Joel 2.1-2,12-17

1Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near –
2a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread upon the mountains
a great and powerful army comes;
their like has never been from of old,
nor will be again after them
in ages to come.
12Yet even now, says the LORD,
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the LORD, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and relents from punishing.
14Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain-offering and a drink-offering
for the LORD, your God?
15Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
16gather the people.
Sanctify the congregation;
assemble the aged;
gather the children,
even infants at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her canopy.
17Between the vestibule and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep.
Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O LORD,
and do not make your heritage a mockery,
a byword among the nations.
Why should it be said among the peoples,
“Where is their God?”’

Psalm 51.1-18

1 Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness; ♦
according to the abundance of your compassion
blot out my offences.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness ♦
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my faults ♦
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you only have I sinned ♦
and done what is evil in your sight,
5 So that you are justified in your sentence ♦
and righteous in your judgement.
6 I have been wicked even from my birth, ♦
a sinner when my mother conceived me.
7 Behold, you desire truth deep within me ♦
and shall make me understand wisdom
in the depths of my heart.
8 Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; ♦
wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, ♦
that the bones you have broken may rejoice.
10 Turn your face from my sins ♦
and blot out all my misdeeds.
11 Make me a clean heart, O God, ♦
and renew a right spirit within me.
12 Cast me not away from your presence ♦
and take not your holy spirit from me.
13 Give me again the joy of your salvation ♦
and sustain me with your gracious spirit;
14 Then shall I teach your ways to the wicked ♦
and sinners shall return to you.
15 Deliver me from my guilt, O God,
the God of my salvation, ♦
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.
16 O Lord, open my lips ♦
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
17 For you desire no sacrifice, else I would give it; ♦
you take no delight in burnt offerings.
18 The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; ♦
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5.20b-6.10

20We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,

‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’

See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3We are
putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see – we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Gospel Acclamation

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.
The Lord is a great God, O that today you would listen to his voice.
Harden not your hearts.
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Matthew 6.1-6,16-21

Jesus said to the disciples, 1‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

5And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
16And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


The Litany

God the Father,
have mercy on us.

God the Son,
have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity,
have mercy on us.

From all evil and mischief;
from pride, vanity and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred and malice;
and from all evil intent,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness, and love of money;
from hardness of heart
and contempt for your word and your laws,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
Good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death,
and at the day of judgement,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood, and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting, and temptation,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
Good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance;
forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance
and our deliberate sins;
and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit
to amend our lives according to your holy word.

we say the Trisagion together

Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

Blessing and Imposition of Ashes

After the litany the priest joins his hands and says:

Dear friends in Christ, let us ask our Father to bless these ashes which we will use as the mark of our repentance.

(Silent prayer)

Lord, bless the sinner who asks your forgiveness
and bless + all those who receive these ashes.
May they keep this Lenten season in preparation for the joy of Easter.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

The Ashes are sprinkled with Holy Water

At Imposition of Ashes:

Remember, Child, you are dust and to dust you will return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ

God, Our Father,
The strength of all who put their trust in you,
mercifully accept our prayers
and because in our weakness
we can do nothing good without you
grant us the help of your grace
that in keeping your commandments
we may please you both in will and deed;
through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen

After the giving of ashes the priest washes their hands; the rite concludes with the Prayer of the Faithful. The Profession of Faith is not said.

Prayer Of The Faithful

Let us pray to the Lord…
Have mercy on us and hear our prayer.

Dear sisters and brothers, we have listened to God’s message and have accepted the ashes with humble and contrite hearts, as a sign of our determination to abandon sin and return to God. Let us now ask for God’s help saying:

Let us pray to the Lord
Have mercy on us and hear our prayer.

We pray that all Christians during this Lent may abandon their spiritual laziness and indifference and use this opportunity for their personal renewal and charitable works, let us pray to the Lord…

We pray that the families might come together to a more intense time of prayer and diligent attentiveness to the Word of God during this season of grace, let us pray to the Lord…

We pray that we may grow in charity by generously sharing with the poor and the less privileged the material blessings you have given us, let us pray to the Lord…

We pray you to touch with your grace of conversion and renewal all those who live in sin and under the bondage of Satan, let us pray to the Lord…

(Pray for personal/local needs)

Lord our God, help us all to come back to you with humble hearts and contrite spirits. Help us to abandon our sinful ways and experience your love and mercy. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.


The Peace

Christ is our peace.
He has reconciled us to God
in one body by the Cross.
We meet in his name and share his peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you

Let us offer one another a sign of peace

Pray, my brothers and sisters, that this our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his Church.

Prayer over the gifts

help us to resist temptation
by our lenten works of charity and penance.
By this sacrifice
may we be prepared to celebrate
the death and resurrection of Christ our Saviour.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you
and also with you

Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right to give thanks and praise

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
| we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.

Through our’ observance of Lent
you correct our faults and raise our minds to you,
you help us to grow in holiness,
| and offer us the reward of everlasting life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him’ the angels and all the choirs of heaven
worship in awe before your presence.
| May our voices be one with theirs
as they sing with joy the hymn of your glory:

Holy, Holy, Holy…

Eucharistic Prayer B

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,
and according to your holy will,
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body
which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for all
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.

Christ is the bread of life:
When we eat this bread and drink this cup
we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus,
until you come in glory

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,
his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins
of the whole world;
rejoicing in his mighty resurrection
and glorious ascension,
and looking for his coming in glory,
we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.

As we offer you this our sacrifice
of praise and thanksgiving,
we bring before you this bread and this cup
and we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.

Send the Holy Spirit on your people
and gather into one in your kingdom
all who share this one bread and one cup,
so that we, in the company of
Our Blesséd Lady, St. Anne, St. Cecilia, St Edward,
and all the saints,
may praise and glorify you for ever,
through Jesus Christ our Lord;

by whom, and with whom, and in whom,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.


Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share the one bread

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace

Come not because you are strong,
but because you are weak.
Come not because any goodness of your own
but because you need mercy and help.
Come because you love the Lord a little
and would like to love him more.
Come because he loves you
and gave his life for you.

This is the lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
Blesséd are those who are called to his supper
Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Communion Antiphon

The one who meditates day and night on the law of the Lord will yield fruit in due season. (Psalm 1:2-3)

Prayer after Communion

through this communion
may our lenten penance give you glory
and bring us your protection.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you
And also with you

Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing

Christ give you grace to grow in holiness,
to deny yourselves, take up your cross,
and follow him;

and the blessing of God almighty,
the +Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

The mass is ended. Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.