Ash Wednesday, Morning Prayer


O God purify my lips
that I may sing your praise.
Saving God, come near to us.
Give us new hearts that we may love
as Jesus loved.



Return to me with your whole heart. I shall be your God and you shall be my people.

Shelter me, Lord
save me from shame.
Let there be justice:
save me!

Help me! Listen!
Be quick to the rescue!
Be my fortress, my refuge.

You my rock and fortress,
prove your good name.
Guide me, lead me,
free me from their trap.

You are my shelter;
I put myself in your hands,
knowing you will save me,
Lord God of truth.

You hate the slaves of idols,
but I trust in you.
I dance for joy at your constant love.

You saw me suffer,
you know my pain.
You let no enemy cage me,
but set my feet on open ground.

Pity me Lord,
I hurt all over;
my eyes are swollen,
my heart and body ache.

Grief consumes my life,
sighs fill my days;
guilt saps my strength,
my bones dissolve,

Enemies mock me,
make me the butt of jokes.
Neighbors scorn me,
strangers avoid me.
Forgotten like the dead,
I am a shattered jar.

I hear the crowd whisper,
“Attack on every side!”
as they scheme to take my life.

But I trust in you, Lord.
I say, “You are my God,
My life is in your hands.”
Snatch me from the enemy,
ruthless in their chase.

Look on me with love,
save your servent.
I call on you;
save me from shame!

Shame the guilty,
silence them with the grave.
Silence the lips that lie,
that scorn the just.

How rich your goodness
to those who revere you!
The whole world can see:
whoever seeks your help
finds how lavish you are.

You are shelter from gossips,
a place to hide from busy tongues.
Blessed be the Lord!
God’s love encircles me
like a protecting wall.

I said too quickly,
“God has cut me off!”
but you heard me cry
when I prayed for help.

Love the Lord, all faithful people,
the Lord your guardian,
who fully repays the proud.
Be strong, be brave,
all who wait for God.

TOBIT 13:1-8

Act justly before God, who may yet respond with pardon and delight.

Blest be the living God,
reigning for ever,
who strikes, then heals,
casts deep into the grave,
and raises up from utter ruin;
no one eludes God’s hand.

Praise God, Israel,
among the nations
where you are scattered.

Announce God’s greatness
wherever you are.
Extol the Lord to everyone:
the Lord is our God,
who fathered us,
God for ever.

Once God punished you
because you did wrong.
Now God comforts all of you
and gathers you from the nations
where you have been scattered.

When you turn your heart and mind
to live rightly before God,
then God will turn to you
and never hide again.

Match your praise
to all God has done for you.
Bless the Lord of justice,
who rules for ever.

Though captive, I praise the Lord.
I tell a sinful nation
how strong and great God is.

Sinners, turn back,
act justly before God,
who may yet respond
with pardon and delight.

As for me, I extol the Lord,
my heart rejoices in God Most High.
Give witness to God’s glory,
in Jerusalem give praise!

READING: Isaiah 58:6-11

Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and God will say,
Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.


In an acceptable time I have heard you; on a day of salvation I have been your help.

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
Who shepherds the people and sets them free

God raises from David’s house
a child with power to save.
Through the holy prophets
God promised in ages past
To save us from our enemy hands,
From the grip of all who hate us.

The Lord favored our ancestors
Recalling the sacred covenant,
The pledge of our ancestor Abraham,
To free us from our enemies,
So we might worship without fear
And be holy and just all our days.

And you, child, will be called
Prophet of the Most High,
For you will come to prepare
A pathway for the Lord
By teaching the people salvation
through forgiveness of their sin.

Out of God’s deepest mercy
A dawn will come from on high,
Light for those shadowed by death,
a guide for our feet on the way to peace.


O God, you ask of us repentance and conver-
sion of life. At the beginning of this holy season
may we embrace the fullness of our life in
Christ Jesus:
Create in us new hearts, O God.
~ In a world of violence and denial of basic
human dignity, may we be lights in the darkness:
~ In a world of abundance which allows children
to go hungry, may we work to banish famine
and malnutrition:
~ In a world which places ambition and the quest
for wealth and power above the values of family
and faith, may we stand as witnesses that you
are the source of all true happiness:
~ In a world where disagreements and longstand-
ing enmities are resolved by war and civil
disruption, may we be reconcilers and unifiers:
~ In a world created through your love and charged
with your presence, may we teach others to see
your face in all people and all creation:
~ In a world which hungers for meaning and
searches for you, may we accompany those
journeying to baptism and support them
through our prayer and witness:



Gracious God, in baptism we were made
your daughters and sons. We were called to live
lives worthy of our calling. Throughout this
Lenten season, may we put aside all that keeps
us from responding freely to your love. May
our deeds and words give glory to you and draw
others to you family of faith. Now is the accept-
able time, O Lord. Give us the courage to act
justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with you.
This we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.


Purify our hearts, O God, that we may be freed from sin. Amen.
Renew our hearts, O God, that they may burnwith love for you. Amen.
Open our hearts, O God, that we may welcome all persons as our brothers and sisters. Amen.