Ash Wednesday - February 17 at 7:30 pm
Dear HCC Family,

Please join us for our annual Ash Wednesday service tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. As Lent gets under way, it is good to begin with prayer and reflection as a community.
 
Please see the Zoom link and bulletin below. A passcode is not required.
 
To prepare for the service, please have a pencil and paper at the ready. It is not required, but if you have a fireplace, I invite you to light a fire before the service starts. 
 
I sincerely hope to see you tomorrow evening,
 
Pete

Here’s the Zoom link:
 
 
Please sign on at 7:20 p.m.
 
ORDER OF WORSHIP
Prelude

Welcome and Instructions

Call to Worship
 Daryl Denelle, Ministry Intern
Leader: Tonight, we begin a sacred journey,
All: a journey within.
Leader: In Christ, God calls us toward authenticity and wholeness,
All: toward honesty and love.
Leader: Jesus’ pathway to the cross invites us to a life of sacrifice,
All: a life of self-giving, a life of knowing what we truly need and do not need.
Leader: This is a rocky road, an uphill excursion,
All: but our hope is in God, who makes all things new.
Hymn       
Lord Jesus, Who through Forty Days     
 NCH 211
Lord Jesus, who through forty days for us did fast and pray,
Teach us with you to mourn our sins, and close by you to stay.

As you with Satan did contend, and did the victory win,
O give us strength to persevere, in you to conquer sin.

And through these days of penitence, and through this Passion tide,
Yes, evermore, in life and death, O Christ, with us abide.

Abide with us, till when his life of suffering shall be past,
An Easter of unending joy we may attain at last.
Unison Prayer of Confession 
 
Purifying One, Great Mystery, your light exposes all that we hide or try to ignore — our secret sins and struggles. In Christ, you give individuals and communities the courage to look honestly at ourselves. Help us to use these Lenten days to search deeply and to start anew. In the spirit of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Scripture:        
Psalm 51:1-17        
 Deacon Nancy Hansberry
To the leader.
A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him,
after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

 Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
   blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
   and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
   and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
   and blameless when you pass judgement.
Indeed, I was born guilty,
   a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
   therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
   and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
   and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
   and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
   and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
   O God of my salvation,
   and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

O Lord, open my lips,
   and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
   if I were to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
   a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Reflection                            
             Rev. Dr. Peter Allen
Written Confession

Burning Our Confessions

Sung Benediction from the Taizé tradition    
 “Ubi Caritas”

Translation from the Latin:
Where there is compassion and love
Where there is compassion, there is God




What is Lent?
Believed to have evolved from the Old English word lencten, Lent takes place during the time when days are lengthening in the northern hemisphere. Traditionally, the 40 days of Lent have been for Christians a time of repentance, sacrifice, and rededication to a faithful relationship with God. In Lent, we invite one another to a more thoughtful, inward spiritual experience. Study, quiet prayer, walking the labyrinth, additional worship experiences, and community service (as a positive form of sacrifice) are some of the ways you might observe Lent alongside your sisters and brothers at Hingham Congregational Church.
 
What is Ash Wednesday?
In the Hebrew Bible, ashes symbolize repentance, sorrow, and mortality. For many centuries, Christians have marked the beginning of Lent by receiving ashes on their foreheads at an Ash Wednesday service. Tonight at HCC, we will not be imposing ashes on foreheads, but we will be creating ashes with our burned confessions. The service will focus on our natural tendency as humans to lose track of our pathway toward our home in God. Given the fact of our mortality, it is important to find that pathway and to renew our relationship with God on a regular basis. This process of renewal includes being honest about our shortcomings and failures as well as celebrating the surprising grace of our forgiving and loving God. Tonight, we begin our journey with Jesus to the cross… and beyond.