Ash Wednesday begins the season of the Church Year known as Lent, which begins forty days prior to Easter and is characterized by a focus on repentance, fasting, prayer, and the needs of others.
The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus—His suffering and His sacrifice, His life, death, burial and resurrection. This first day of Lent reminds Christians of the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:24, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." The way to Easter is the way of the cross. As the first step in the Lenten journey the Ash Wednesday service invites us to acknowledge our mortality, our sinfulness and our dependence upon the grace of God.
This year we’ll have two Ash Wednesday services: 8:30–9:15 am and 12:15–1:00 pm. We’ll celebrate the Lord’s Supper and receive the imposition of ashes at each identical service.