Ash Wednesday 1
To mark the beginning of Lent
Ashes made from last year's burnt palms, from Palm
A large sheet of paper showing the prayer response
This can take place in the school hall, or at the
local church or chapel
A priest can be asked to take part
Taped music or reflective silence can replace a hymn
Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is the time before
Easter, when we think about and try to improve our behaviour.
We especially think about how much we love God - and how much he loves
A long time ago, people wore sackcloth and ashes, to show that they
were sorry for their sins. Today, we will wear Ashes, to show that we
too are sorry for the times when we do wrong.
During Lent, we will try extra hard to do what is right. We will try
hard to make the right choices.
It isn't always easy to do what is right though.
Often, we are tempted to do what is wrong.
Even Jesus was "tempted", but he did not give in.
Once, Jesus spent forty days in the desert. He ate nothing and so felt
very weak. Then the Devil came to him. He said he would give Jesus
food, kingdoms and power - if Jesus worshipped him.
But Jesus, with God's help, found the strength to say no.
He made the right choice.
God the Father helped Jesus to be strong. He will help us as well.
Let us ask him to do so.
The response after each line is "Father make us strong."
When we are tempted to do what is wrong...
When we do not get what we want...
When we are afraid of doing new things...
When we want to do what is right...
When we want to be kind and thoughtful...
When we want to make friends with someone...
When we want to say sorry to someone...
When we want to make the right choices...
When Jesus was tempted in the desert, he had to make the right choice.
Now, as we receive the Ashes, let us decide that we will try very hard
to make the right choices during Lent.
DISTRIBUTION OF ASHES
This can be performed by a priest or by someone supported by the priest.
A cross is drawn on each person's forehead, with the ashes.
The wording varies, but can be,
"Remember that from dust you come, to dust you will return."
This is not a sacrament, so can be received by all.
Jesus, when you were tempted, you had to choose between right and wrong.
Help us when we have to choose.
If the best choice is difficult or unpleasant, give us the courage to
If the choice is confusing - and we do not know what to do, give us the
wisdom to decide.
Help us always to do what is best. Amen.
Let us now say the Lord's Prayer...