Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season in Lent. It is a time when we pause, keep silent, and contemplate the certainty of our own mortality, but also the certainty of the Resurrection to come. You might ask, really? This year, of all years, do we need to be reminded of our mortality, 12 months into a pandemic that has claimed more than 400,000 lives in our country, including friends, colleagues, and family? And my answer is, yes, now more than ever – it is a chance to remember that in that horrifying number are 400,000 individual lives, life stories and losses.
Lent is also the season when we choose to fast in some way, from particular foods, activities, or habits. You might again ask, really? Over this last year we have all given up more than we ever imagined possible. What more can we give up? And I would say that for me, fasting during Lent serves as a way of making room for something else, perhaps a place to hear God’s voice a little more clearly. What are the insights and discoveries from this past year of deprivation, that we otherwise would not have recognized? To say it another way, how has God continued to be present for us through this difficult year?
Our Ash Wednesday service will launch our new Lenten worship series: “Holy Vessels: A Lenten Season of Recovery.” Each of us is created a precious and holy vessel of embodied love. We have been through a challenging year since last Lent that has shattered our sense of wholeness – body, mind, and spirit – like a glass vessel fractured into pieces. In this Lenten “season of recovery” for our physical, communal, mental, intellectual, and environmental health, we will explore the healing narratives of Jesus that tell of divine solidarity with human suffering and remind us that we can begin a journey toward creating something beautiful from that which is seemingly broken.
The theme for our Ash Wednesday service will be “Shattered.” Instead of ashes, in preparation for the Ritual Action in this service, please have with you a candle, a bowl with some sand or soil in it, and a bit of water.
Please join us for this year’s special Ash Wednesday service via Trinity’s Facebook page or watch later via Trinity’s YouTube page.
“Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.”
George Van Hare, for the Worship Committee