Ash Wednesday Service

February 18th, 2015

6:00pm

A lite supper will be followed by the service

It will all take place in the sanctuary

Childcare will be available in the nursery beginning a few minute before the service starts

 

 

Ash Wednesday Q&A 

 

Why do we have an Ash Wednesday service at MCF? Isn’t that a Roman Catholic thing?

 

Ash Wednesday is an ancient Christian tradition and holy day.  The observance of the day is not required by the Bible, but neither is the observance of Christmas or Easter.  The tradition goes back more than 10 centuries and marks the beginning of the season of Lent.  Although Roman Catholics have kept the tradition alive, in recent years other Christian denominations and churches have begun to rediscover the rich meanings of celebrations such as Ash Wednesday.  Marina Christian Fellowship has had a service on Ash Wednesday since 2007. 

 

What are some of the meanings of Ash Wednesday?

 

 It is a time to mark the beginning of Lent, a season of “spiritual housecleaning.”  Our lives tend to get cluttered and compromised by things that keep us from wholehearted devotion to Jesus.  Jesus calls his followers to come and die to those things that compromise our commitment, and by so doing find a completely new life in Him.  Two themes then are a part of the Ash Wednesday service.  

 

1.  Remembering that we are all going to die.  As morbid as that sounds, it is important for believers to keep an eternal perspective.  Jesus teaches us clearly that the way to really live is to let go of the often harmful value system of this temporary life.  It is true that “we can’t take it with us.”  Therefore the foolish person builds his house upon the unstable sandy foundation of what is temporary.  As the ashes are placed on our heads we are reminded, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” 

2.  Repentance.  Ash Wednesday is sort of an ancient version of an altar call.  In light of the fact that this life is temporary, we are to reflect on all of the ways we have lived as if it were not.  We then repent, or turn from our selfish and compromised ways, and commit once again to following Jesus obediently.  We seek the forgiveness of God, through Jesus Christ’s work on the cross, and are cleansed from our sin and renewed for joyful obedience to God.   

 

What happens at an Ash Wednesday service?

 

Our Ash Wednesday service of about an hour or less and features beautiful meditative music, scripture readings, common prayer (prayers and responses prayed together as a congregation), time to reflect, and ways to physically respond through kneeling and coming forward with others to receive the ashes as a sign of the two themes mentioned above.  Although it tends to be a quieter, more reflective service, it is not intended to be a depressing time focused on guilt.  It is more about taking a deep spiritually cleansing breath and committing again to follow Christ.