Ash Wednesday 2021


This page contains our act of worship for 17th February, Ash Wednesday.

Take your time over the prayers. Allow the words of the hymns to stir your affection for and adoration of Jesus.

For this service, I have “borrowed” a talk from Pastor John Piper, from Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis. I hope you will find it both interesting and inspiring. A warning… it is 40 minutes long. The technologically adept amongst you might be tempted to play it at a faster speed. I recommend you do not do this – the content is too important to rush!


Since early days Christians have observed with great devotion the time of our Lord’s passion and resurrection. It became the custom of the Church to prepare for this by a season of penitence and fasting.

In the season of Lent the Church recognizes that, by a careful keeping of these days, all Christians might take to heart the call to repentance and the assurance of forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel, and so grow in faith and in devotion to our Lord.

You are invited, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word. Let us pray for grace to keep Lent faithfully.

Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart,
so that desiring, we may seek and find you,
and so finding, may love you,
and so loving, may hate those sins from which you have delivered us,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Bible Reading

Our reading is John 7:53 – 8:11.


Collect for Ash Wednesday

Holy God,
our lives are laid open before you:
rescue us from the chaos of sin
and through the death of your Son
bring us healing and make us whole
in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Closing Prayer

Almighty God,
in whom we live and move and have our being,
You have made us for yourself
and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you:
grant us purity of heart and strength of purpose,
that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will,
no weakness from doing it;
but that in your light we may see light,
and in your service find our perfect freedom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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Some material in this service is from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) and is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council. cf.

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