Ash Wednesday

Most holy and merciful Father,
I confess to You and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth,
that I have sinned by my own fault, in thought, word, and deed;
by what I have done, and by what I have left undone.

I have not loved You with my whole heart, and mind, and strength.
I have not loved my neighbor as myself.
I have not forgiven others, as I have been forgiven.
Have mercy on me, Lord.

I have been deaf to Your call to serve, as Christ served us.
I have not been true to the mind of Christ.
I have grieved Your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on me, Lord.

I confess to You, Lord, all my past unfaithfulness:
the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of my life,
I confess to You, Lord.

My self-indulgent appetites and ways,
and my exploitation of other people,
I confess to You, Lord.

My anger at my own frustrations,
and my envy of those more fortunate than myself,
I confess to you, Lord.

My intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts,
and my dishonesty in daily life and work,
I confess to you, Lord.

My negligence in prayer and worship,
and my failure to commend the faith that is in me,
I confess to you, Lord.

Accept my repentance, Lord, for the wrongs I have done:
for my blindness to human need and suffering,
and my indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Accept my repentance, Lord.

For all my false judgments,
for uncharitable thoughts toward my neighbors,
and for my prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from me,
Accept my repentance, Lord.

For my waste and pollution of your creation,
and my lack of concern for those who come after me,
Accept my repentance, Lord.

Restore me, good Lord, and let your anger depart from me;
Favorably hear me, for Your mercy is great.

Accomplish in me the work of Your salvation,
That I may show forth Your glory in the world.
By the cross and passion of Your Son my Lord,
Bring me with all Your saints to the joy of His resurrection.

-The Litany of Penitence, a traditional Ash Wednesday prayer

We went to Ash Wednesday service bright and early at 7am this morning.

The boys ate freeze dried fruit and then wandered around.

But no one minded.

And as the ashes of last years palms were brushed onto my forehead I realized we've come full circle- it was Palm Sunday last year that we first began attending this church. And what a blessing is has been to us. Absolutely perfect for this stage of our life. I've rarely attended a church where my children were so welcome. Zeke adores the nursery and his teacher and the other children adore him right back. Malachi, who refuses every nursery attempt and disrupts every service has never gotten one glare.

What a blessing to me, to us, to feel so loved.

I wanted to just pop in to say that I'm going to be just slightly MIA over the next few weeks. Not that I am going to be gone completely, my life is organized such that leaving the internet for 6 weeks would wreck more havoc then it would create peace. But I will be stepping back just slightly. I have a few posts pre-written, so don't despair for my blog. And I am sure I will step into Facebook from time to time, though I wont be able to keep up with every update.

I welcome the break, honestly. And I hope you are able to have a peaceful Lenten season as well.

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