06 February 2008

Ash Wednesday

"Let us pray that our dear Father in heaven, for the sake of His beloved Son and in the power of His Holy Spirit, might richly bless this Lententide for us so that we may come to Easter with glad hearts and keep the feast in sincerity and truth." ...Kneeling and praying: "To prosper the preaching of Your Word; to bless our prayer and meditation; to strengthen and preserve us in the true faith; to give heart to our sorrow and strength to our repentance."... Mercy, mercy, mercy... The long line of pilgrims marked with ashes: "Remember, O man, that you are dust and to dust you shall return"... Franzmann's "In Adam"... Children marked, old folks marked, and everything in between marked...Death is coming and we defy it in the name of the Crucified... Joel's summon "return"... Cindi singing Gradual and Tract... Our Lord saying to us, "When you fast..."...Standing together to confess our faith... Luther's "From Depths of Woe" (which was the entrance hymn again for Ash Wednesday on EWTN! What gives with that?)... Faces looking up and listening in earnest to the homily... Prayers for all sorts and conditions... Sharing the peace with each other... Bringing our offerings... Up with our hearts and thanksgiving to the Lord... "Holy, holy, holy Lord"... Images of Abraham and Isaac, and a beloved Son not spared on Calvary... "Our Father"... The Consecration... Table after table kneeling before the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world... Adam and Mary kneeling directly on the floor to receive our Lord's body and blood... Brent slowly and carefully signing himself with the holy cross before receiving... Joy of the old tune to "Savior when in dust"..."O Lord, now let Your servant"... Thanksgiving and then "On my heart"... We leave knowing Lent has begun and we're on the way home...

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