“Invitation to Lent” Author Rev. Mary Austin
Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Mary Austin) appreciated.
Luke 9:51-62 and Psalm 5:7-8 or Psalm 5:8
Call to Worship
We are dust and ashes,
bone and breath,
full of frailty and limitation.
Lent calls us into reflection and repentance,
drawing closer to God.
Lent calls us to see ourselves as dust and ash,
alive only with God’s breath.
Lent invites us to be pilgrims,
moving with Jesus toward the truth.
In Lent, we travel with Jesus,
moving toward an end and a beginning.
Let us worship the God of glory,
with all that is within us.
Call to Confession
Keeping up appearances is exhausting. Pretending to be something we are not takes a toll on our spirits. The illusion of perfection makes us weary. Lent invites us into a place of freedom. Let us speak the truth about ourselves, and know the truth about God.Trusting in God’s abundant, living mercy, let us pray. (time for silent reflection)…Amen
Prayer of Confession
God who breathes life into dust,
and fills ash with glory,
we come to you knowing that we are broken,
not by your doing,
but by our own.
Forgive us for chasing shiny gods,
instead of turning to you.
Forgive us for trusting our own abilities
more than your goodness.
Forgive us for seeing other people as stepping stones,
instead of as your beloved ones.
Breathe life into our dust again, we pray,
and claim us once more as your own.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Assurance of Grace/Pardon
Who are we, that God is mindful of us? God’s fingers have shaped us, and God’s breath gives us life. God’s abundant mercy follows us with each step. In the life of Jesus Christ, we see a new way to live. In following him, our lives are redeemed. Through Jesus Christ, we are all forgiven. Be at peace in God’s grace.
Invitation to Communion
My friends, dust and ash we are, and also God’s beloved people. Jesus, who knows both death and resurrection, invites us now to the table. Here, even on this day, we see a glimpse of God’s table. At the table of God, there is hunger is no more, and all of God’s people feast together. There death is no more, and we see our beloved ones and God’s people of all the ages. There tears are no more, and we rejoice in the presence of God’s living grace.
In the name of Jesus our host, Jesus whom we follow into Lent, Jesus who gives us living bread, we are all invited to come and share in the feast.
Prayer after Communion
with the taste of ash still in our mouths,
you have fed us with the bread of heaven
and the cup of new beginnings.
Lead us now, we pray,
into a Lent of somber reflection
and committed service,
spreading the taste of your love to all people.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Offering Prayer / Prayer of Dedication
our gifts are as limited as our lives,
but we offer them to you with gratitude,
knowing that they really are your gifts,
loaned to us.
We offer them with praise,
that you invite us to share in your work.
We offer them with hope,
knowing that you can transform them
into instruments of love and justice.
In Jesus name, Amen.