Lenten Meditations 2021: Ash Wednesday

Feb 17, 2021 by


                                  PSALM                      Old Testament                    Epistle                        Gospel

Ash Wed
Feb 17
am: 95, 32, 143
pm: 102, 130

Amos 5:6-15


Heb 12:1-14


Luke 18:9-14


LITURGICAL NOTES FOR THE DAY: The name for this day  ‘Day of Ashes’ comes from “Dies Cinerum” dating back to Liturgical ritual of Gregory the Great known as the  Gregorian Sacramentary. where the custom of marking the head with ashes on this Day is said to have originated. While the use of Ashes as penitential was customary in the West, the application process was not as we see in that in both Germany and England the penitents were sprinkled with ashes as noted there in the writings of the Aelfric, the Abbot of Eynsham. in the 10th Century. Of course, this liturgical note on the nuances of the historic practice might be helpful in this time of pandemic as many churches are seeking how to observe the feast with many returning to the lost practice of sprinkling. So, it should be noted that the liturgical source books reflect the practices of both the imposition of a cross upon the forehead as well as the sprinkling the ashes upon the heads of the faithful.


It can also be noted that in general, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, i.e. Greek Orthodox, do not celebrate Ash Wednesday, Most of the Oriental Churches in Communion with Rome also do not observe of Ash Wednesday or even ashes (with the exception of the Maronite Church), but instead, the Great Fast begins in the Eastern Traditions quietly without notice on Clean Monday, two days before the more well-known Ash Wednesday the same week. Clean Monday refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods.


MEDITATION OF THE DAY: The lessons today call us to consider on how we reflect on sin in our lives. It raises some important questions in an age of relativism. Do we realize there are some lines one does not cross and if one does there is a need for penance? The lessons today ask us to consider the reality of our how we live our lives in terms of the pleasures of this world in juxtaposition to the things that please God. Often, we do not so the call to abstinence is an opportunity to reorient our lives with a clear understanding of the need to know there are limits in life. There are times to say no to self and yes to others.  Moreover, the idea of forgiveness is a lost art. If I am in my rights all the time, what is there for me to be forgiven for. But only God can be in righteousness            from sunrise to sunset and as such there are times that require our seeking forgiveness and in turn forgiving others.


Will wearing Ashes accomplish that? No but the wearing of Ashes is a wordless speech to a world that finds its hard to hear!


PRAYER OF THE DAY: Lord, as we begin the discipline of the Lenten Journey,   make me holy through these holy disciplines and help me to avoid evil and temptation. Grant me grace to serve You with a generous heart, give me courage to be faithful amidst a world that may not be and renew my spirit  with a resolve for You. Amen


ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE:To take up the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all; it consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us.” – John Henry Newman


Lenten DisciplineKeep a Solemn or Simple Fast. Fasting is voluntarily abstaining from something for a limited amount of time so for today it would be at least one meal or from sunrise to sunset. Use the food funds for today for those in need of a meal


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