Ash Wednesday 2018 — Order of Worship

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Mortality — Ash Wednesday

 

ENTRANCE

ABBREVIATIONS
AH = The Africana Hymnal

BOW = United Methodist Book of Worship

CCLI = Christian Copyright Licensing International, SongSelect

TFWS = The Faith We Sing (2000)

UMH = United Methodist Hymnal

W&S = Worship & Song (2011)

SOZ = Songs of Zion

The worship space should be fairly dark, illuminated only by candles (perhaps several banks of votive candles placed around the worship space) and the light on a projection screen, wall, or scrim. Use these or similar words, projected in a loop on a screen.

Prepare
Reconcile
Repent
Mercy
Mortality
Know Yourself
Prayer
Fasting
Deny Yourself
Read Scripture
Listen
Silence
Dust
Ashes
Kneel . . . Now

If you do not have projection capability, place the words on posters or banners and place them around the worship space.

Have an usher stationed, along with signs posted, encouraging people to enter in silence. If using posters or banners, the usher may invite people to walk through the stations before taking their seats.

Consider playing Gungor’s “Beautiful Things” (CCLI #5665521) in the background as the video of the words plays or as the people move from station to station. (If you use a recording, be sure you have the licensing to cover this use).

As people take their seats, they may kneel if they are able.

Invitation to Lenten Discipline

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
the early Christians observed with great devotion
  the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection,
and it became the custom of the Church that before the Easter celebration
  there should be a forty–day season of spiritual preparation.
During this season, converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism.
It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins
  and had separated themselves from the community of faith
     were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness,
  and restored to participation in the life of the Church.
In this way the whole congregation was reminded
  of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ
     and the need we all have to renew our faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church,
  to observe a holy Lent:
  by self–examination and repentance;
  by prayer, fasting, and self–denial;
  and by reading and meditating on God's Holy Word.
To make a right beginning of repentance,
  and as a mark of our mortal nature,
  let us now kneel (bow)  before our Creator and Redeemer.
 

SCRIPTURE AND RESPONSE

Instrumentalists may continue playing the song softly while a reader reads.

Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

Do NOT project the words of this text. Let the focus be on the reader and on listening to the text. Let the screen keep the background (but not the words) of the opening loop. When the reader finishes, the instrumentalists finish the verse they are playing, then invite the assembly to sing.

“Dust and Ashes”                                                                   W&S 3098, Stanza 2 or
“O-So-So”                                                                              TFWS 2232, Stanza 2 or

Still kneeling; words on the screen.
Again, instrumentalists continue playing while a reader reads.

2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

The screen returns to the background as before. The reader finishes; the instrumentalists finish the verse; then cue the congregation to stand and sing.

*”Dust and Ashes”                                                                 W&S 3098, Stanza 3 or
*”O-So-So”                                                                            TFWS 2232, Stanza 3

While the pastor or deacon or lay leader (if no deacon is present) or lay speaker (if no lay leader is present) brings the gospel to the center of the assembly and reads it . . .

*Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

All standing as able, instruments still playing the song. If a sermon is offered, the song fades out as the sermon begins, and resumes as the sermon ends.

[Brief Sermon]

"Dust and Ashes"                                                                      W&S 3098,  Refrain (2X)* or
"O-So-So"                                                                                 TFWS 2232, Stanza 4

The assembly sings as the reader of the gospel returns to the front and the pastor lifts the container holding the ashes. At the words "lead us through the desert sands" in "Dust and Ashes," or "reconcile your people" in verse 4 of "O-So-So" refrain (second time), the pastor blesses the ashes with the sign of the cross (no words are needed).

Receiving the Ashes

As the song concludes, the pastor gestures in silence for the people to come to receive the ashes. This should be done in a deliberate, unhurried way. Give each person ample time to kneel or bow to receive. Offer one station per 35-50 people, and plan for ten seconds per person. The action is offered in silence, with the words, "Remember, you are dust" and "Repent, believe the gospel," alternating on the projection screen, scrim, or wall.

As the ashes are received, a soloist with soft piano or guitar accompaniment sings.

Solo: “God, How Can We Forgive”                                               TFWS 2169 or
Solo: “Falling on My Knees”                                                         W&S 3099

A soloist with ensemble/congregational response (for those in line or having already received) may sing.

Solo/Congregation "Forgive Us, Lord/Perdón Señor"                  TFWS 2134 or
"Depth of Mercy"                                                                          W&S 3097

Instrumental music from this and other appropriate songs focused on repentance, confession, and forgiveness (but NOT the cross! Lent is not Holy Week!) may continue until all have received and returned to their places. Then all sing.

All:
"Sunday's Palms Are Wednesday's Ashes," TFWS 2138 or
"Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone,"  W&S 3104

Musicians begin segue into TFWS 2157 or W&S 3135.

Declaration of Pardon and Peace

Pastor: In Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
People: In Jesus Christ, we all have peace.

Ensemble sings "Come and Fill Our Hearts with Your Peace" (TFWS 2157) or "In God Alone" (W&S 3135) once through, and invites congregation to join as they share Christ's peace with one another, words projected on screen. In the background of the projection, you may wish to project the word "Peace" in other languages -- “Peace,” “Shalom,” “Eirene,” “Salaam,” “Shantih,” “Ruh,” “Paix,” “Paz,” and whatever other languages may be spoken in the region where you are.

“Come and Fill Our Hearts with Your Peace”                                  TFWS 2157 and/or 
“In God Alone”                                                                                 W&S 3135

If this service continues with Holy Communion, follow the guidance beginning here. If not, skip to the end of this resource (Sending Forth without Communion) for suggestions for concluding the service shortly after the Peace.
 

INTERCESSION, THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Instrumentalists should segue smoothly from "Come and Fill Our Hearts" or "In God Alone" to "Lord, Let Your Kingdom Come" (TFWS 2201). Music may continue playing during the spoken intercessions and time for silent or spoken requests before the leader (deacon, lay leader, lay speaker, or song leader) sings "Lord, in your mercy" or the first half of Chorus 1a of "You Make Beautiful Things," with the second half as congregational response. In keeping with the request of the Council of Bishops, be sure to add an intercession for the earth, as follows, "Together, let us pray for the earth, with thanksgiving for its bounty and for wisdom and strength to care for it and all life upon it."

The people may be standing and invited to join the leader in praying at the "orans" position -- hands raised slightly out to the sides, elbows bent, palms up.

Project on the screen only the words for the song and the theme of each intercession, as follows:

Each other
People who are suffering
Local concerns
World leaders, justice, peace
The earth
The whole church
The communion of saints

*Sung Intercessions:
"Lord, Let Your Kingdom Come" (TFWS 2201) or
Chorus 1a of “You Make Beautiful Things”

Instrumentalists segue to the opening of The Great Thanksgiving (TFWS 2257a or other setting).

The Great Thanksgiving (TFWS 2257 or other setting)

The presider (elder or local pastor) leads The Great Thanksgiving using the musical setting and The Great Thanksgiving for Early in Lent from The United Methodist Book of Worship (60-61). The presider may invite the congregation to continue praying in the orans position. The congregation uses the musical setting TFWS 2257. These words may appear on screen just before the congregation needs to sing them. Instrumental accompaniment (soft chords related to the setting) may continue through the presider's prayer. You need not include the entire prayer onscreen, just the “people’s parts” and the verbal cues for when they begin. (“And so” introduces each of these in the Great Thanksgiving in our ritual).

Sharing the Bread and Cup

During the distribution, the congregation and a soloist, using the choir or accompaniment edition, may sing.

Songs during the Distribution
“Taste and See”                                                                   TFWS 2267  and/or
“Come to the Table of Grace”                                            W&S 3168

Once again, plan on at least one station per 35-50 people served, and do not rush. Other instrumental music relating to Holy Communion may be offered from The United Methodist Hymnal, The Faith We Sing or Worship & Song, or CCLI. As all are served and the table is re-set, instrumentalists begin segue to "The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve" (TFWS 2241) or "As We Go" (W&S 3183). This plays in the background during the dismissal with blessing.
 

SENDING FORTH

Dismissal with Blessing

Deacon or Lay Leader or Lay Speaker:
May God, who has forgiven and fed us,
now make us strong for these days ahead.
May Jesus lead us, and we be found faithful to follow.
May the Spirit drive us into the wilderness,
burning away the chaff of our lives,
and purifying our hearts for all to see
and be blessed.

Pastor:
And may the blessing of God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Mercy, Master, and Fire,
be with us and remain with us always!

People: Amen!
 

Song of Sending    
“The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve”                                           TFWS 2241 or
“As We Go”                                                                                   W&S 3183
 

Deacon, Lay Leader, or Lay Speaker:
Go in peace, to love and serve God and your neighbor.

People: Thanks be to God!


OR

SENDING FORTH (WITHOUT COMMUNION)

Instrumentalists segue to "Walk with Me" (TFWS 2242) or "As We Part for the Towns and Cities" (W&S 3180) during the dismissal and Lord's Prayer that follows.

Dismissal with Blessing

Deacon or Lay Leader or Lay Speaker:
May God, who has forgiven us
now make us strong for these days ahead.
May Jesus lead us, and we be found faithful to follow.
May the Spirit drive us into the wilderness,
burning away the chaff of our lives,
and purifying our hearts for all to see
and be blessed.

Pastor:
And may the blessing of God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Mercy, Master, and Fire,
Be with us and remain with us always!

People: Amen!

Song of Sending
“Walk with Me”                                                                               TFWS 2242 or
“As We Part for the Towns and Cities”                                           W&S 3180
 

Deacon, Lay Leader, or Lay Speaker:
Go in peace, to love and serve God and your neighbor.

People: Thanks be to God.

Depart in silence.