WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 | LENT ASH WEDNESDAY
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous,
O repair it!
It displeases Your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
to whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare Your servant
from strange sins.
St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430)
Ash Wednesday Collect
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, forever and ever. Amen.
Joel 2:1–2, 12–17
12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, And with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, And turn unto the LORD your God: For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness,
And repenteth him of the evil. 14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, And leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, Gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, And let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, And give not thine heritage to reproach, That the heathen should rule over them:
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: According to unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: And my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, And done this evil in thy sight: That thou mightest be justified when thou speakest And be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: And in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins And blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; And take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, And sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: And my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15 O Lord, open thou my lips; And my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. 16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: Thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
2 Corinthians 5:20b–6:10
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 6 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 3 Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in mnecessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, oin labors, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honor and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21
6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise, ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.