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Worship on the First Sunday in Lent is really moving! You won't want to miss it! Every year we begin the service for the First Sunday in Lent by singing the Great Litany as The Processional. This litany is referred to as "the Great Litany" not just because of its length but because it sums up all of our needs. Through this prayer, the Church "sweeps up the whole world it its great and loving arms, and offers it up to God to be blessed and saved." Throughout the Great Litany, the Church prays "Have mercy on us" many times, so it would be very easy to conclude that we are praying over and over for forgiveness of sins -- but we're not. [ 1,464 more word ]
Why ashes? On Ash Wednesday, our congregation practices the imposition of ashes. But why? The imposition of ashes can be a powerful, tactile reminder of both Law and Gospel in which worshipers of any age can take part. The words "dust you are, and to dust you shall return" are spoken as ashes are received on the forehead. These words remind us that as a result of sin and the Fall, death is a reality. [ 409 more words ]
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. The famous liturgist Alexander Schmemann wrote of Lent that it is a journey, a pilgrimage. "Yet as we begin it, as we make the first step into the 'bright sadness' of Lent , we see -- far, far away -- the destination. It is the joy of Easter, it is the entrance into the glory of the Kingdom." [ 759 more words ]