Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ash Wednesday

In the sweat of thy face
shalt thou eat bread
till thou return to the earth,
out of which thou wast taken:

for dust thou art,
and into dust thou shalt return

‘But now, now

– it is the Lord who speaks –

come back to me with all your heart,
fasting, weeping, mourning.’

Let your hearts be broken,
not your garments torn,
turn to the Lord your God again,
for he is all tenderness and compassion,
slow to anger,
rich in graciousness,
and ready to relent.

Who knows if he will not turn again,
will not relent,
will not leave a blessing as he passes,
oblation and libation
for the Lord your God?

Sound the trumpet in Zion!
Order a fast,
proclaim a solemn assembly,
call the people together,
summon the community,
assemble the elders,
gather the children,
even the infants at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his bed room
and the bride her alcove.

Between vestibule and altar
let the priests, the ministers of the Lord,
Let them say,
‘Spare your people, the Lord!

Do not make your heritage a thing of shame,
a by word for the nations.
Why should it be said among the nations,
“Where is their God?”

’Then the Lord,
jealous on behalf of his land,

took pity on his people.

Gen 3:19, Joel 2:12 - 18

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