An Ash Wednesday Reflection

I like participating in Ash Wednesday. I like walking around with a cross of ashes right smack dab in the middle of my forehead. I like the surreptitious glances of people who see the mark and then quickly look away, as if they caught me doing something inappropriate. I like wearing a symbolic declaration of my identity.

© Copyright Helgi Halldórsson and  licensed for reuse at Wikimedia.

© Copyright Helgi Halldórsson and licensed for reuse at Wikimedia.

Ash Wednesday marks me as a Christian, someone who would follow Jesus on his journey through the wilderness toward Easter. The mark of the cross identifies me with the historic Christian faith, but it leaves me without an agenda. It is not a bumper-sticker Christianity that proclaims what I do or do not support. It is not my effort to convert others to my way of thinking. It does not set me aside as an individual; rather, the two smeared lines of ashes join me together with the people of God who, throughout the ages, have declared that they sin, that they are mortal, and that they look to Jesus for any hope of change.

I have this same feeling when sit, sandwiched between other penitents on the bench in the back of the church, waiting for my turn to go in to confession. There is something serious about setting aside time for self-evaluation, repentance, and affirmation of a desire to change. There is something important about desiring to strengthen my will to choose good and turn from evil. But there is something humbling to realize that I am one in a long line of sinners who, regardless of what we have done or neglected to do, wait desperately for the mercy and absolution of a loving God. The reality of my humanity, of my ordinariness, strips me of self-importance, even in the midst of repentance.

And so I begin this season of Lent soberly, having a desire for spiritual growth and discipline. Yet I also go gently into a season of penitence, knowing that I will break my fast and, if nothing else, fail to love God whole-heartedly and to love others as I love myself. But there is nothing remarkable in that. Nothing unexpected. What is remarkable is that at the end of Lent comes the promise and the hope of Easter. Being one of many sinners who seek and receive God’s gift of grace frames all of Lent, in fact any act of contrition or repentance, with the mystery and hope of the Gospel–Christ in us, the hope of glory. I like having that stamped on my forehead, the reminder that I belong to Christ and that he is working his will in me as he does with countless others.

© Copyright Michael Saludo  and licensed for reuse at Wikimedia.

© Copyright Michael Saludo and licensed for reuse at Wikimedia.

By the end of the day today, the cross of ashes will most likely be rubbed into an unrecognizable smudge. By the end of the season of Lent, I will have repented and failed and repented and failed some more, and hopefully grown in awareness and strength of character. But the mark of the cross will remain on my life, seen on my forehead or not, as the constant reminder that I am marked as Christ’s own. Forever.

Prayers for the 5th Sunday in Lent – Year C (BCP)

Download Prayers for Lent 5 Year C BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of our Fathers,
You always lead your people forward into freedom,
Delivering us from our enemies,
And miraculously calling forth life in the face of death and barrenness.
You have done new things among us,
A deliverance that brings your living waters to our deserts,
That quenches our thirst with the satisfaction of your presence.
Lord God, you have made us like those who dream.
Our mouths are filled with laughter,
And our tongues with shouts of joy.
We will say with all the nations:
The Lord has done great things for us!
We are glad in your presence, Holy God,
And with all creation we will declare your praise.

I invite your praises and thanksgivings to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially Barack, our president, and the other leaders of our country.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are our God, and we are your people.
Nothing is worth more than knowing you.
We want to gain you and be found in you,
To stand in the righteousness you’ve given us by faith,
And to share in your death and resurrection.
Grant your church single-minded focus,
To press on for the upward call you’ve given us in Christ,
To forget all that lies behind,
And to strain forward to all that you have promised,
That your name would be glorified to the ends of the earth.

I invite you to pray for the church throughout the world.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance, forgiveness, and deliverance from evil.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
You, Lord Christ, are the beloved son of the Father,
The one who humbled himself and came to dwell among us.
As we look forward to Holy Week,
Ready our hearts us to receive your coming
That we might eagerly welcome you into your vineyard,
 Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for the 4th Sunday in Lent – Year C (BCP)

Download Prayers for Lent 4 Year C BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Your praise is continually in our mouths, O Lord,
And we exult your name together!
When we were beset by fears,
We sought you, and you answered us with your deliverance.
You saved us out of all our troubles.
May our souls ever boast in you alone.

I invite your praises and thanksgivings to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially Barack, our president, and the other leaders of our country.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are our God, and we are your people.
Long have we wandered in lands that are waste.
Many times over have we squandered our inheritance,
And we often beg to live as your slaves.
Gracious Father, teach your church what it means to be your children,
As we rest in our restored relationship with you
And rejoice with you over the miracle of salvation.
Quicken our hearts to respond to you,
And make your people fruitful as we share in the power of your death and resurrection,
That your name would be glorified to the ends of the earth.

I invite you to pray for the church throughout the world.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance, forgiveness, and deliverance from evil.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
You are the God who reconciles the world to yourself,
Making us new creations,
And entrusting to us the message of your reconciliation.
Thank you for your gracious goodness to us through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for the 3rd Sunday in Lent – Year C (BCP)

Download Prayers for Lent 3 Year C BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We bless you, O God of our salvation, with all that is in us!
We bless your holy name!
You forgive all our iniquity and heal all our diseases.
You redeem our lives from the pit and crown us with steadfast love and mercy.
You satisfy us with good and renew our youth.
You work righteousness and justice to all who are oppressed.
You are merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
You deal mercifully with us and grant us your incomparable steadfast love.
Bless the Lord all you people!
Bless his holy name!

I invite your praises and thanksgivings to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially Barack, our president, and the other leaders of our country.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are our God, and we are your people.
Give your people humility of mind,
That we might take care lest we fall into temptation and sin.
Enable us to have courage in the face of temptation,
And to seize the way of escape and endurance you promise.
Move your church to repentance,
Quicken our hearts to respond to you,
And make your people fruitful as we share in the power of your death and resurrection,
That your name would be glorified to the ends of the earth.

I invite you to pray for the church throughout the world.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance, forgiveness, and deliverance from evil.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
You are the great I AM,
The holy one who visits salvation upon all people.
We are lost in the slavery of our bentness.
Call us forth into freedom that we might stand up straight,
Glorifying you through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for the 2nd Sunday of Lent – Year C (BCP)

Download Prayers for Lent 2 Year C BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord God, You are light and salvation,
An eternal stronghold and our deliverer.
When we are beset by fears within and foes without,
Give us courage.
When it seems that evil and sin will consume us,
We listen for your instruction and guidance.
We wait for you, O Lord,
And look for your goodness in our lives.

I invite your praises and thanksgivings to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially Barack, our president, and the other leaders of our country.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are our God, and we are your people.
You have given us citizenship with you in heaven,
And we look for your redemptive work here on earth.
Purify your church from disordered desires that seek to satisfy shameful appetites.
Transform us to look like you in all things,
And enable your church to stand firm in your life-giving word.
Quicken our hearts to respond to you,
And make your people fruitful as we share in the power of your death and resurrection,
That your name would be glorified to the ends of the earth.

I invite you to pray for the church throughout the world.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance, forgiveness, and deliverance from evil.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
You dwell among us and even in us, Lord Christ.
Awaken our hearts to desire your beauty
And to long for your presence
That we might know you and be known by you,
 Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for the 1st Sunday in Lent – Year C (BCP)

Download Prayers for Lent 1 Year C BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

O God of our salvation, we rejoice in all the good that you have given to your people;
We remember our stories,
How we have lived in slavery under harsh taskmasters that seek our humiliation,
How we cried to you, O God of our fathers,
And you heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.
You have brought us out of death with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
And you promise us a land flowing with milk and honey.
Receive now this offering of thanksgiving,
And grant us hearts that approach you with true worship and gratitude.

I invite you to offer your praises and thanksgivings to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially Barack, our president, and the other leaders of the world.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are our God, and we are your people.
How we long to have hearts that believe in your resurrection power,
And mouths that confess your unchallenged Lordship!
You have given us faith,
That the whole world might know of your great love.
Quicken our hearts to respond to you,
And make your church fruitful as we share in the power of your death and resurrection,
That your name would be glorified to the ends of the earth.

I invite you to pray for the church throughout the world, especially as we begin this season of Lent.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance, forgiveness, and deliverance from evil.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
Be to us a dwelling place and a refuge,
That no evil might befall us.
We are desperate for the protection of your presence;
We hold fast to you in love,
Trusting that you will show us your salvation.
Be with us in our trouble, Lord,
And satisfy us with your life
 Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for Palm Sunday – All Years (BCP)

Download Palm Sunday Year B BCP  or  Palm Sunday Year B RCL

Readings: See The Book of Common Prayer or The Revised Common Lectionary

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the Lord our God,
The one to whom we turn in time of trouble.
Our souls are overwhelmed with terror and grief,
As we consider the weight of sin and death.
Our times are in your hand, Holy God.
Rescue us from death at the hand of our enemy.
Our souls wait for you alone.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the needs of the world, remembering especially our president, Barack Obama, and other leaders.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Jesus Christ, we confess that you are Lord.
We think of your humility,
Your willingness to be born in human form,
Your obedience unto death on a cross.
May the whole earth proclaim your praises and rejoice in your eternal purposes.
Lord of our salvation, equip your church with the mind of Christ.
Grant us perseverance and unwavering faith
That we might humbly obey you in the work you have given us to do.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy Spirit, we ask that you would ready our hearts for the upcoming week.
Help us to set aside anything that would hinder or distract us from making space to journey with you through Holy Week.
Grant us grace to remember,
To meditate upon your passion and suffering,
To watch and pray with you for a little while.
Our spirits are willing, but our flesh is week.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
How beautiful is the bride of Christ, stretching back throughout the ages and across the world, crossing boundaries of time and place!
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
You are the Living God,
The giver of all life,
The God who reconciles even his enemies to himself.
Our souls wait for you alone,
 Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.