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Ash Wednesday | Lent 1 | Lent 2 | Lent 3 | Lent 4 | Lent 5
Six Weeks of Daily Lenten Reflections, plus Easter week (by Nail-Bender)

Ash Wednesday Worship & Sermon Resources


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A complete Ash Wednesday Service with select readings of upcoming Lent and Holy Week passages (based on the RC Lectionary) and a video meditation.


DPS subscribers can download the video presentation here:

Windows Media format (20 MB)    /    Apple QuickTime (80MB)


Download the Worship Service Outline

click here to download


Download the PowerPoint Presentation
(one slide for each reading):

click here to download



Download the printable bulletin (Adobe pdf format)

click here to download

Subscribers click here to access all these resources

Service Outline
(PowerPoint slides are also pictured in the video meditation)



Children's Messages:


Excerpt #1

by  David Rogne

The final lesson we learn from the Psalmist is that the lifting of the burden of guilt is ultimately the result of grace.  Though he felt alienated from God by his guilt, he still believed that God was prepared to offer mercy and that God's love was steadfast.  The word the Psalmist uses for God's steadfast love is the Hebrew word "hesed," which comes from the word for "womb."  This suggests that God's steadfast love is equated with a maternal instinct, mother-love, a love that may be deeply hurt, but that does not turn its back on its child.  Because we feel guilty, we may feel that God has turned his back on us and that we have to do something to earn back God's love.  But the sense of alienation comes from our side.  Our guilt has created the gap.  The gap is bridged by acknowledgement of our responsibility, confession of what we have done, a willingness to change our conduct, and reliance on God's steadfast love.

One who understood this gracious aspect of God's forgiveness, perhaps better than most, was John Newton.  At the age of eleven he ran away from school and went to sea.  His early years were an endless cycle of drunkenness, debauched living, and trouble.  He entered the slave trade and eventually became captain of a slave ship. In the grip of a storm, which he felt would take his life, he accepted the forgiveness proclaimed by Jesus Christ, and his life turned around.  He never ceased to wonder at the amazing grace of God which turned him from the slave trade to preaching.  For his own epitaph he wrote, "John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slavers in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the Faith he had long labored to destroy."  But his greatest testimony is preserved for us in the words of his great hymn, with which we will close our service:

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound


Excerpt #2:

The Cross of Ashes
a sermon based on various Scriptures
by Rev. Melinda Harwood

Today is Ash Wednesday: the first day of the penitent season of Lent. The accurate name is "The Day of Ashes” not "Ash Wednesday". The reference to ashes comes from the ceremony of placing ashes on the forehead in the shape of the cross as a sign of penitence. Pope Gregory I, who was Bishop of Rome 7th century A.D, introduced this custom.

Gardeners know that ashes can be used to help grow plants. But basically ashes are worthless. In fact they are often less than worthless - they are a hindrance and a liability. You can't make ashes pretty by painting them, and you can't make ashes smell good by spraying perfume on them. Ashes are just ashes.

And so it is with us - people are just people. When all is said and done, no matter how much righteous paint we cover ourselves with, no matter how much virtuous perfume we spray on ourselves, we are left with our thoughts and feelings and actions that aren’t always our best .
So why do we bother tonight smearing ashes on our foreheads? Why do we gather and remember what we are on Ash Wednesday?

The answer is that while we gather to remember who we are, more importantly we also gather to remember who God is - and what God has done for us in and through Jesus Christ.
The Bible has a number of references about ashes. The first comes in Genesis 18:27. Abraham is bargaining with God to spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he suddenly realizes that he, a mere mortal, has been speaking to almighty God . . . .


DPS Sermon Series for Lent