Ash Wednesday – February 17, 2021 – HOW DO I CELEBRATE ASH WEDNESDAY IN MY HOME? Here’s a simple celebration.

PREPARATION: – Decorate the Home in PURPLE.

Prepare a PRAYER CORNER in your house.

       Prepare the Ashes: It would be good to have the children prepare     

       the Ashes. If you have some blessed Palms from last year, you may   

       burn them with some sticks, otherwise simple sticks will do it. Put in  

       a plate some of the Ashes in the middle of the table.

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday we are Fasting: Either from food that you like or from sweets, from soda, from TV, from iPhone or tablets. (Except for school and work).

CELEBRATION

(Evening of Ash Wednesday)

OPENING SONG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbAawEzj3WY

Leader: -In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN

LET US PRAY: Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this Campaign of Christian Service, so that, as we take up the battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. AMEN

       REFLECTION:  – Holy Fasting: what is for me a Holy Fasting?Campaign of Christian Service: What could be for me a campaign     

      (not only a simple action, but a campaign) of Christian Service ? What is a Christian Service that I could do at this time? – take up the battle against spiritual evils: what kind of battle and what kind of spiritual evils? – Armed with weapons – which ones are our weapons – self-restraint: make a list of ways and areas in which you can be “self-restraint”.

One of the members of the family can take the Bible and read:

First Reading: Joel 2.12-18 (Invitation to return to the Lord).

Then:

PSALM 51. (Read by another member)

ALL REPEAT: Have mercy, o Lord, for we have sinned.

Then:

GOSPEL: (Read by the head of the house).

Leader: The Lord be with You.

All: And with your spirit.

L.: A reading of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

A.: Glory to You, O Lord.

(Matthew 6.1-6, and 16-18)

“Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of practicing your piety before people in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

     So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others…. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and street corners, so that they may be seen by others…. But whenever you pray, fo into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    And whenever tyou fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting… But when you fast, put oil; on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting maybe seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

       The Gospel of the Lord. – PRAISE BE TO YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST.

REFLECTION: ….       (The three spiritual warfare).

   –  Jesus said to the disciples….. “Don’t show off” (the right attitude)

   – Whenever you give alms… (Don’t tell everybody, = humility)

   – Whenever you pray…(Do I feel the need to pray?)

   – Whenever you fast….

BLESSING and DISTRIBUTION OF ASHES.

Head of the Family: – Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us humbly ask God our Father that he be pleased to bless with the abundance of his grace these ashes which we will put on our heads in penitence.  (PAUSE).

(Then he continues) – O God, who desires not the death of the sinners, but their conversion, mercifully hear our prayer and in your kindness be pleased to bless these ashes, which we intend to receive upon our heads, that we, who acknowledge we are but ashes and shall return to dust, may, through a steadfast observance of Lent, gain pardon for our sins and newness of life after the likeness of your Risen Son. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. AMEN.

As the head of the house signs each member with the ashes, he will say; He may also briefly explain that after our death we will become dust.

REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE DUST, AND TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN.

Then we conclude with the PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL:

ALL SAY: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.

1 – For the church, proclaiming renewal in the ashes both distributed and received; we pray to the Lord….

2 – For leaders in the world community, called to creative action toward life beyond the ashes of violence and war, we pray to the Lord….

3 – For all who taste dust and ashes in their own personal experience, we pray to the Lord….

4 – For the members of this house, accepting Lenten ashes as an invitation to fullness of life, we pray to the Lord….

ALL TOGETHER: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil AMEN.

Final Hymn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W43w1oatRe8

You could end the celebration with a simple meal, like lettuce, bread and cheese or spread and water, in union with millions of children tonight who go to bed with a simple piece of bread and water.

    You may continue your Lent by saying the Rosary together every night or at least every Friday evening. On Friday remember to give up something like tablet, iPhone or computer.

Fr. Walter

About Fr. Walter

Father Walter Tonelotto was born in Italy in 1947 and entered the Scalabrini Seminary at an early age. At 20 he was sent by his superiors to study Theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York and then to the Toronto School of Theology. He holds a Master in Divinity from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa and a Master in Moral Theology from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, New York City.