Monday, March 07, 2011

Preparing for Lent

Today, I prepared the ashes for Ash Wednesday. The ashes used in the ceremony come from the burning of palms from the previous Palm Sunday. They are sprinkled on the head as a sign of penance and mortification. For clerics, it is usually placed on the tonsure and for laity, it is put on the forehead in the shape of a cross.

The blessing and imposition of ashes concludes with this prayer in the old rite:

Grant us, O Lord, to begin with holy fasting this campaign of our Christian warfare: that as we do battle with spiritual wickedness, we may be defended by the aids of self-denial; through Christ our Lord. Amen

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Ministry of Word and Sacrament

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God (2 Corinthians 4:1-2).

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).