Bill and Kathy demonstrate how to impose ashes, which all Kenilworth Union members will receive in the mail, and offer a prayer for Lent.

Ash Wednesday

Bill: Hi friends, my name is Bill Evertsberg and this is Doogie, my assistant minister. I’m one of the ministers at Kenilworth Union Church, by the way, and this is Kathy, my best friend and life partner.

Maybe you know that this coming Sunday, February 14 is not only Valentine’s Day, but it’s also Transfiguration Sunday. Transfiguration Sunday is the last Sunday in the season of Epiphany, which means that next Wednesday, February 17 is Ash Wednesday, which of course is the gateway to the Lenten season.

I hope you received a card notice from the church this week. There’s a card in here that tells you all the things that are going on at Kenilworth Union during the season of Lent, but there is also a packet of ashes in this card. Unfortunately we’re going to have to celebrate Ash Wednesday virtually this year. You will do this in your own homes with your family. You will impose your own ashes.

So this is how we’re going to do this: Take this little packet of ashes and cut about halfway across, and then empty the ashes into a shallow bowl or a little cup or something. And then this is a little vial of frankincense and myrrh anointing oil that I happened to get in Jerusalem. You don’t need to get that fancy; a little dab of Vaseline will do it, or even cooking oil will do it. So just dab a little bit of cooking oil in your shallow bowl, and while you’re making the sign of the cross on your family member’s forehead, you’re going to say these words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Doogie here is Kathy and my fourth golden, after Duffy, Duncan, and Dudley, and for all four of our goldens, we’ve always included them in our Ash Wednesday ritual because Doogie, for instance, is a very, very good dog who sometimes makes very, very bad decisions. For instance, he will jump up in joy on a little child and knock him down, which is not a good thing. So he needs to be sorry, too. Lent is when we admit to God that sometimes we get it wrong, and Doogie does the same thing.

The three of us are going to impose ashes on each other. So Kathy, remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Kathy: Bill, remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Bill: Amen. Doogie, remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Kathy: Pray with me.

“O God, who makes all things new,
new stars, new dust, new life;
take my heart,
every hardened edge and measured beat,
and create something new in me.

I need your newness, God,
the rough parts of me made smooth;
the stagnant, stirred;
the stuck, freed;
the unkind, forgiven.

And then, by the power of your Spirit,
I need to be turned toward Love again.
Amen.”

Bill: Amen. Thank you, Kathy. You all are going to be celebrating this virtually in your homes with your family, but we’ll be recording virtually from the sanctuary at 7:30 on Wednesday night the 17th, so please join us. Christine and Silvi will be imposing ashes and saying some prayers.
God bless you. See you Wednesday.

“Prayer for Lent” by Pamela Hawkins in The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent.

Bill: Amen. Thank you, Kathy. You all are going to be celebrating this virtually in your homes with your family, but we’ll be recording virtually from the sanctuary at 7:30 on Wednesday night the 17th, so please join us. Christine and Silvi will be imposing ashes and saying some prayers.

God bless you. See you Wednesday.

 

“Prayer for Lent” by Pamela Hawkins in The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent.