Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday Service Today!

Ash Wednesday 

Service for Families
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
5:30 pm in the Chapel

Lent begins today!  Ash Wednesday is the first day of a forty day period of preparation for the events of Holy Week and Easter.  For the past several years, Rev. Peter and I have been offering a 5:30 pm service specifically for families on Ash Wednesday.  The meaning of Ash Wednesday is a bit difficult to convey to young children. I have found that the penitential tone is not a natural fit for their spirituality.

Rev. Peter and I have collected some wonderful ideas from my fellow Christian Educators and some thoughts of our own to create an Ash Wednesday service which is streamlined and focused on the elements of this holy day which are most vibrant and essential to young children - the imposition of ashes and Holy Communion. I love this service, and look forward to it every year.

One aspect of the service that resonates with the children is the gesture the priest makes with the ashes. Beginning at age four in the atrium, we learn that at Baptism, the priest  makes a small cross with oil on the forehead of the person being baptized, and says "You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own for ever."  On Ash Wednesday we see that cross again -- this time made with ashes and oil on all of our foreheads --  and we are reminded that we belong to Jesus.

If you are a local reader, I hope you will join us in the Chapel at Christ Church for our 5:30 pm Ash Wednesday Service for Families today! 


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