"Let us amend and do better for those things in which we have sinned through ignorance lest, suddenly prevented by the day of death, we seek time for penance, and be not able to find it. Attend, O Lord, and have mercy: for we have sinned against Thee. "
- Response chanted by the choir during the reception of ashes
Today, we had the privilege of celebrating Ash Wednesday Mass in our chapel. We count it a great gift from God to gather as an intimate family on the special liturgical days of the year.
The Liturgy of Ash Wednesday in the Extraordinary Form speaks beautifully about the sacramental we humbly (and proudly) receive and bear today, which externally expresses the state of our hearts as we begin this season of penance. As Christians, during the Lenten season, we desire to turn away from sin, amend our life, root our vice, and most important to grow in greater union and love of our Divine Savior Jesus Christ through contemplating His Passion and embracing sufferings.
We pray that you may have a blessed Lenten Season spent in contemplation of the Crucified Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Through reflection upon these prayers, may the Church, in Her Wisdom, inspire your hearts to embrace the season of Lent with love and without reserve.
Prayers for the Blessing of Ashes
"Almighty eternal God, spare them that are penitent, be merciful to Thy suppliants, and vouchsafe to send Thy holy angel from heaven to bless + and sanctify + these ashes, that they may be a wholesome remedy to all who humbly call upon Thy Holy Name, and who, accusing themselves of their sins as their consciences accuse them, deplore their crimes before the face of Thy divine clemency or, eagerly and humbly entreat Thy excellence and goodness; and grant, by the invocation of Thy most Holy Name, that any who shall be sprinkled with these ashes for the remission of their sins, may receive health of body and salvation of soul. Through Christ our Lord.
Let us pray. O God, Who art moved by humiliation and appeased by penance, incline the ear of Thy goodness to our prayers, and when the heads of Thy servants are touched with these ashes, graciously pour forth the grace of Thy blessing, that Thou mayest fill them with the spirit of compunction and mayest effectually grant what they righteously ask, and ordain that what Thou grantest may remain forever established and unmoved. Through Christ our Lord.
Let us pray. Almighty eternal God, Who didst bestow the healing of Thy pardon upon the Ninivites when they repented in ashes and sackcloth, mercifully grant that we may so imitate them in behavior as to be like them in obtaining pardon. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever."