Doing an Ash Wednesday service this week? Here are a few ideas to make your service more meaningful.
Ash Wednesday is quickly becoming one of the most popular mid-week services of the year. Churches with both evangelical and mainline roots are discovering the service as a great way to enter into the story of Jesus' journey to the cross, culminating on Easter. Here are some notes and creative suggestions for doing an Ash Wednesday service.
Ash Wednesday begins the wilderness journey of Lent. Ashes have connotations of mourning and death dating to ancient times. ("from ash to ash...") Dusting oneself with ashes is a follower's way of expressing sorrow for sins and faults.
The service typically includes what is traditionally known as "the imposition of the ashes", where worshippers receive the marking of a cross in ash on their forehead as a sign of repentance. This year, if your church is doing an Ash Wednesday service, consider distributing cards to the congregation. Invite them to write on the card sins they wish to confess, and bring the cards forward when the receive the mark of the cross. Consider teaching the congregation an ancient chant. Also, a powerful scene of repentance occurs toward the end of the biopic Walk the Line, where Joaquin Phoenix's character Johnny Cash acknowledges his "bad things" to his wife. Download this excellent clip here with a free account subscription.
If you have need, download our Ash Wednesday worship imagery. Whether you choose our media or some from another source, make sure it fits with the tone of the service, which is about recognizing our brokenness and need for a Savior.
For more great worship ideas and imagery, visit Midnight Oil Productions now!
Len and Jason
The MO Guys