Holy Communion - Ash Wednesday 22 February 2012 - MS Balmoral

Prelude and Welcome
Gathering Song
Reading: Psalm 51, selected verses

Have mercy on us, O God.
Create in us a clean heart,
and put a new and right spirit in us.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in us a willing spirit.

Prayer of Contrition

God, our Creator,
You have formed us out of the dust of the earth.
You are acting now in this world, for us and for all.
You sustain us, you shape and feed us,
You walk with us as companion.
We come before you now in our act of confession and lament.

Blessing of the Ashes

In his earthly experience,
Jesus knew the same human betrayals and struggles that burn and bruise us.
If we cannot hear when our God cries out,
then we may miss our own weeping.

(raise ashes)
If we wish to enter into the depths of human and divine life,
we will need to join the ashes of our mourning with oil,
the oil which will one day bring us into gladness.
(raise oil)
If God does not know our fear and the challenges to our faith,
then we have no Godly company on our journey.
And so, we mix the ashes of our past and present
with the oil of loving kindness
which lies at the heart of God.

(mix oil and ashes)

Reading: Joel 2:1, 12-17
HYMN: O Jesus, joy of loving hearts

Communion prayer

You invite us to this table, O Holy Mystery:
out of our places of testing, out of the fire of life,
and into places of refreshment and rebirth.
We have been this way before, and we will be here again.

Each time we return, the landscape has changed
and we have also been changed by the living of our lives.
Longing for your transforming power,
we open ourselves to you and sing your praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might;
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might.
Heav'n and earth are full,
full of your glory
Hosanna in the highest.

So come, Holy One, in grace and peace,
in the ashes mixed with the oil of gladness,
in the bread and in the fruit of the vine.
We come in faith that embraces the mystery of your presence,
and in spirits turned now to your Spirit.

The 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,

Fraction and Distribution and Imposition of Ashes

Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Jesus Christ, the bread of life.

Jesus Christ, the true vine.

(Quiet Reflection with music)

HYMN: Lead on, O cloud of Presence

Our time of worship together ends,

yet we go forth with God, through brokenness and blessing,
as we begin our Lenten journey.

God walks with us on our journey.

Thanks be to God.