Psalm 51Joel 2:1-17Isaiah 58:1-12Matthew 6:1-21

Ash Wednesday is this week, 7 PM, in the sanctuary at 1st Salem. Join us for a special time of worship, prayer, and repentance. Receiving ashes on one’s forehead is an opportunity to enter Lent with a heart ready for change.

Jesus forgives. God has forgiven us. The ashes of Lent, the fast, and the self-denial of the season do not make us more forgiven or more acceptable. They do, however, place our minds and hearts in an environment where transformation can begin and continue.

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The “Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian” is prayed, daily, by the Eastern Orthodox during every Lent. It’s words are worthy of meditation and obedience.

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own errors, and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed, unto ages of ages. Amen.

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