There will be three opportunities for worship at the Chapel on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14:

  • 7 a.m.  (led by the Lutheran Deaconess community, with Rev. Brian Johnson)
  • 10 a.m. as part of Morning Prayer (Pastor Char presiding)
  • 10 p.m. as part of the Celebrate! service (Pastor Jim presiding)

Holy Communion and imposition of ashes will be offered at all three services. Morning Prayer will still be just 20 minutes long.

Services are open to everyone to attend.

If you are unable to attend any of the three Ash Wednesday worship services but still would like to receive ashes on Feb. 14th, Pastor Char and Pastor Jim will be at several different locations on campus that day, with “Ashes to Go.”

They are:

  • 8:15 – 8:45 a.m. Brandt Hall
  • 9 – 9:30 a.m. Alumni Hall
  • 9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Kretzmann Hall
  • 11:15 – 11:45 a.m. Gellersen Hall
  • 12 – 12:30 p.m. Tray Return at Founders (Union) & CCLIR Community Room
  • 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Lankenau Hall
  • 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. VUCA Lobby & ARC


About Ash Wednesday:

Ash Wednesday is one of the most solemn days of the church year, its liturgy marking the beginning of a penitential discipline which climaxes on Maundy Thursday.  The mood is one of penitence and reflection on the quality of our faith and life. “Lent” is a time for rebirth and preparation for the celebration of Easter.  Originally a time when intense preparation was begun by those who were to be baptized at the Vigil of Easter, other worshipers also joined in the preparation and recalled their own baptism at the Vigil. We, too, prepare ourselves to remember our baptism at the Vigil on Easter Eve, as we, in that liturgy, ritually “pass over” with Jesus from death to new life.

In the celebration of the Holy Communion on this day, worshipers will have the opportunity to receive ashes on their foreheads as a sign of penitence.  Worshipers who prefer not to receive ashes in this service may spend the time in quiet meditation. The ashes are prepared by burning palm branches from last Palm Sunday.  Their use suggests in a dramatic way God’s judgment and condemnation of sin, our frailty and total dependence on God, humiliation and repentance.

The words spoken as ashes are imposed, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” were first spoken to Adam after his fall into sin.  We are forcefully reminded of the words of the committal in the Burial Service:  “…earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  Ashes also suggest cleansing and renewal, once used as a cleansing agent in the absence of soap. At the same time, the Holy Gospel for this day directs our attention to the need for inward repentance.  Though outward forms be used to assist us, they never are ends in themselves.


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