Join us for our annual Ash Wednesday service. This will include the ancient rite of imposing ashes, as well as Holy Communion for those in our fellowship. Have dinner with us beforehand, starting at 5:30 pm!
Why the imposition of ashes?
“[It is an] ancient act [that] is a gesture of repentance and a powerful reminder about the meaning of the day. Ashes can symbolize dust-to-dustness and remind worshipers of the need for cleansing, scrubbing and purifying. If they are applied during an act of kneeling, the very posture of defeat and submission expresses humility before God."
In other words, we all need to repent. The imposition of ashes is an outward reminder to the individual that he or she is a sinner. It is also a way of proclaiming to others, “Yes, I am a sinner. I cannot save myself. When I turn to ashes in death it is my just punishment for all my sins against God.”
Since the ashes are made in the shape of a cross, it also confesses, “My only hope to escape the judgment of death is the cross of Christ. He took on death for me to set me free from the guilt of sin and the punishment of hell. In Christ alone and in his cross alone do I find my hope for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation with God.”
Of course, this rite of the imposition of ashes is not commanded in Scripture. It is a powerful symbol but not a requirement. Therefore, do not feel obligated to participate if your conscience does not allow you to do so. However, if you desire to participate in this rite, please do so for the intended reasons: humility, repentance and the longing for the redeeming grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.