Ash Wednesday – 14th February 2024

The first day of Lent, when ashes are blessed, and placed upon the heads of each of the people with the words, “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.”
Whilst marking our foreheads with ashes the Church today says to us: “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.” Yes, we are dust by our origin and our mortal destiny; and our present life would be dust did not the breath of faith enliven it at every moment. What makes the value of our existence is not the multiplicity of works or the number of years, all this is dust; but purity of intention and fervor of will. From these come true life, that which death will give instead of destroying.

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday:

Lord, Holy One, have mercy on us. We confess our sins to you. We have fallen short of your glory and without your mercy and grace, we would be dust. We repent now. Lord, as we enter into this Lenten season, be near to us. Help us, by your Holy Spirit, to feel right conviction and repentance for our sin. Help us, by your Spirit, to have the strength to overcome the enemy.
Thank you, Lord, that Easter is coming! Death has no sting, no victory, because of Jesus! Glory and honor and praise to His name! Thank you for rescuing us. Help us keep both the weight and the joy of this season in our hearts and we move through the next several weeks. Help us bear the good fruit of your Spirit.

Ash Wednesday Prayer : 

Gracious God, today begins a period of inner reflection and examination. The days stretch before me and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that holds your Spirit. This special time beckons me to see my life through Christ’s eyes and the truth and reality of your love incarnate. Give me the grace to enter the space of these days with anticipation of our meeting. And, when I open my soul to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over me and seep into the pockets of my heart. I ask this for the sake of your love.

Ash Wednesday Prayer of reflection  

Heavenly Father, during this time of reflection I remember how you lived the life I ought to have lived. You showed us how to resist temptation during your time in the desert, and through the life you led here on earth. As this Lent season begins, remind me that I am but dust. I can do nothing without you. Help me to see the world through the eyes of those in the first Lent season, who awaited a Savior and awaited new life through you. Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross, and as I refrain from [fill in the blank, for what you choose to give up for Lent] help me to use that time I would spend on

[fill in the blank item]

to pray, reflect, and thank you.

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Compassionate and Holy God,
stir the dust of our lives and help us remember who we are.
Scatter this dust upon the field of our fear
and give us the courage to yield to redemption.
Ignite the ashes of our burned-out dreams and kindle life.
As we carefully place these ashes in the urn of our heart,
we yearn for sparks of new life.
Loving God,
as we paint our faces with these ashes,
You call us to turn away from sin but not from death.
You tempt us to look the face of death in the eye
as we embrace and remember life.
Merciful God,
as we carry the ash tattoo of the cross upon our foreheads,
kindle within us memories of your mercy.
Give us the courage to turn away from sin and return to You,
and so find our way to one another.
It is in this turning that we find our truth.

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Merciful God, you called us forth from the dust of the earth; you claimed us for Christ in the waters of baptism. Look upon us as we enter these Forty Days bearing the mark of ashes, and bless the journey through the desert of Lent to the font of rebirth. As we remember our mortality and seek penitence today, we know you to be a God who is rich in forgiveness and abounding in steadfast love, love that culminates in eternal life with you. Guide our steps this Lent, so that we might find greater fulfillment in your promises and better serve others with a heart that’s reflective of you.

A prayer for Ash Wednesday

Be with us Lord, keep us strong as we enter into the desert of Lent.
Our sins come forth as shadows across the landscape of our lives.
Today, we acknowledge our humanity and know that this marking of sign and symbol on our body is what calls us into further relationship with you, our God.
We accept the mark.
Made of earth-grown, harvested, blessed, burned, blessed, and placed on our bodies.
Be with us as we spend the next 40 days calling to mind simplicity in our thoughts and actions.
May all our actions, prayers, silence, and pauses call us into further relationship with you.

Opening Catholic Collect for Ash Wednesday

Father in Heaven,
Protect us in our struggle against evil.
As we begin the discipline of Lent,
make this season holy by our self-denial.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
one God, forever and ever.


Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

Litany of Penitence

Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and
strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We
have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us.
We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved
your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the
pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord..

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation
of other people,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those
more fortunate than ourselves,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and
our dishonesty in daily life and work,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to
commend the faith that is in us,
We confess to you, Lord.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done:
for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our
indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our
neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those
who differ from us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of
concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.
By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
desires not the death of sinners, but rather that they may turn
from their wickedness and live, has given power and
commandment to his ministers to declare and pronounce to
his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of
their sins. He pardons and absolves all those who truly
repent, and with sincere hearts believe his holy Gospel.

Therefore we beseech him to grant us true repentance and his
Holy Spirit, that those things may please him which we do on
this day, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure
and holy, so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer of Ash Wednesday

My penitential Lord, I give myself to You this Lent. I freely choose to enter into the desert of these 40 days and choose to pray, fast and give of myself to an extent I have never done before. I pray that this Lent will be a time in which I am transformed interiorly by You. Set me free, dear Lord, from all that keeps me from loving You and others with all my heart.

Jesus, I trust in You.