Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a time that we consider the tremendous love God has shown to the world and to each of us by sending his Son into the world to save us from our sins. Lent is also a time of reflection on our own lives and a time that points us to the cross and to the resurrection of Christ at Easter!
Two Worship Services
This year, FUMC Allen will offer two worship services: one at 7:00am and another at 7:00pm. The 7:00am service in the Upper Room Chapel, led by Susan Hale and Ed Whipple, will offer to participants a time of prayer along with the imposition of ashes. This service is open to anyone who wants to start the season of Lent before they start their day or those who are unable to attend the evening worship service.
At 7:00pm, we invite you, your friends, and your families to join us for Ash Wednesday worship in the sanctuary. In previous years, we have used a worship style called taizé, a style of Christian worship characterized by the repetitive singing of simple harmonized tunes, often in various languages, interspersed with readings, prayers, and periods of silence.
This year, we’ll use a traditional liturgy that focuses on our experience of the season of Lent. Rev. Jessica Wright will bring the message, and Resonate and the Chancel Choir will lead our music. We are also pleased to include a classical guitar quartet to the musical offering this year.
Ash Wednesday Rituals
As a reminder of our faith, we observe two rituals at the evening service. The first is the imposition of ashes where a pastor will make the sign of the cross on our foreheads.
Second, we’ll be invited to write on a piece of paper those things that we confess to God as sins/shortcomings. As we leave the sanctuary in silence, we’ll place those papers into a fire inside an urn. This burning of our shortcomings reminds us that God forgives our sins, God wipes the slate clean, and we are made new!
Did You Know?
At FUMC Allen, we don’t sing “Hallelujah!” during Lent. We save that word of praise for the words we proclaim on Easter: “He is Risen! Hallelujah!”
We burn the palm branches from the last year’s Palm Sunday service and use them for the ashes imposed on on Ash Wednesday.