Prayers for Ash Wednesday
Purifying Mystery, your light exposes in us all that we hide.
Awaken us and all your Holy Church to spiritual combat.
Lead us to purity of soul and body in these forty days.
Fortify us to take an honest look at ourselves
and to name our secret sins and our ruts of disobedience.
Let abstinence from our addictions free us for prayer and the fire of love.
Perfect us by steady gaze toward your pure mercy and grace
so that we may come to the Passion of Jesus
and the Holy Pascha* in pure joy.
In confidence we commend ourselves and all our passions
and cares to your never failing mercy.
We intercede for the world and the church:
Especially for those we have hurt by our preoccupations …
For those who live sacrificially so that others
may know your justice and compassion …
For a just peace in and among nations …
For professionals who help others stand in the light …
For the church in every place …
For the concerns and cares of our lives …
Holy God, whose Spirit drives us into the wilderness to confront our priorities with a holy fast; grant that as we are about to do battle with our demons and the power of evil, we may be defended by our grace through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing 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 obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission
and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.
— From the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Public domain.