Let us pray (in silence) [for grace to keep Lent faithfully.]
Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts,
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Ash Wednesday is a solemn focusing on sin, repentance, and our need for forgiveness. Most tend to underplay sin nowadays (and, yes, that’s in reaction to its over-stressing in the past), but Ash Wednesday is a reminder of its dreadful reality. The tone of the collect is, hence, appropriate. Obviously we cease using the collect that we used daily from Sunday, and use this one from Ash Wednesday until first evening prayer of Sunday Lent 1. After that, if you want to use it throughout Lent, don’t have two collects following each other – this collect can be used to conclude the Prayers of the People (or even as the Prayer after Communion).
Here is my commentary for this collect for Ash Wednesday.
What is Lent?
NB. The “Glory to God in the highest” is not used in the Eucharist. The word “Alleluia” is not used at all. There are no flowers in church during Lent.
Lent candle ritual
Lenten preparation (catechumenate)
receiving the Lord’s Prayer (catechumenate)
receiving the creed (catechumenate)
enrolment for baptism (catechumenate)
Resources off this Site and in the Real World
In Real Life: locally S. Michael’s (Christchurch, NZ) Lenten Study Series 2016 a light lunch on Sunday leads into an hour of reflection with different speakers – I lead March 6. All welcome.
Auckland Anglican Diocese: a 3-5 minute daily devotional Lenten Calendar.
If you have a Lent resource to share, please add it in the comments.