Ash Wednesday Worship
Wednesday March 2
12:00pm & 7:00pm
FUMC Allen Sanctuary
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent for those of the Christian faith. During a special service of worship, we receive ashes imposed on our foreheads to remember that we are dust. At the same time, we acknowledge that we are also fearfully and wonderfully made by our God who breathed life into us from a little bit of dust.
We welcome you to join us in the FUMC Allen sanctuary on Wednesday, March 2, as we mark this holy day with two worship services: one at 12:00pm and another at 7:00pm. The evening service will be livestreamed for those who are unable to join us in person.
Participants in the sanctuary will have the choice of receiving the ashes from a pastor or taking a small container of ashes to self-impose the ashes.
For those joining us by livestream, we will invite you to have a small container of dirt to use to mark yourself with the symbol of the cross. We high recommend that you do not use ashes from your home fireplace since those ashes can possibly cause a skin reaction.
The Imposition of Ashes
Ashes are a sign of mourning in the Bible. Job “sat among the ashes” when he was stricken. When Tamar is raped by Amnon, she “put ashes on her head, and tore the long robe which she wore; and she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went” (2 Samuel 13:19). In Esther Chapter 4, when Mordecai and the Jews learn of the order for their persecution, they put on sackcloth and ashes. Most famously, in Jonah 3:6, when the king of Nineveh is told to repent, “he arose from his throne, removed his robe and covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes.”
The use of ashes – or sometimes just “dust” – may have several origins. Ashes appear frequently in the Hebrew scriptures as the result of the Temple sacrifice, so they were plentiful and symbolized what remained after an offering was burnt up. Ashes and dust are trodden under feet, seen as lowly and despised. Ashes are symbolic of death and loss as we are reminded in Genesis that we are dust and to dust we shall return. When Abraham questions God about the fate of Sodom and Gemorrah, he recalls that he “is but dust and ashes.”