top of page
  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Ash Wednesday Evening Worship 2023 (6 PM)

Ash Wednesday Evening Communion

Ash Wednesday

February 22, 2023 at 6:00 PM

Celebrant: The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Deacon and Preacher: The Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis


Watch the Livestream at www.Facebook.com/StMattSav/Live/




The Ash Wednesday Liturgy & Holy Communion



The Word of God



Hymn #142: Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days


1. Lord, who throughout these forty days

for us didst fast and pray,

teach us with thee to mourn our sins,

and close by thee to stay.


2. As thou with Satan didst contend

and didst the victory win,

O give us strength in thee to fight,

in thee to conquer sin.


3. As thou didst hunger bear and thirst,

so teach us, gracious Lord,

to die to self, and chiefly live

by thy most holy word.


4. And through these days of penitence,

and through thy Passiontide,

yea, evermore, in life and death,

Jesus! with us abide.


5. Abide with us, that so, this life

of suffering overpast,

an Easter of unending joy

we may attain at last!


[Words: Claudia Frances Hernaman. Music: St. Flavian, melody from Day's Psalter; adapt. and harm. Richard Redhead. Reprinted with permission under ONELICENSE #195027. All rights reserved]



The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 264]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:


Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Joel (2:1-2, 12-17)


Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near--a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come.


Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?


Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy.


Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, "Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 103:8-14

[BCP, p. 733]

Read responsively by half-verse (at the asterisk).

8 The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, * slow to anger and of great kindness.


9 He will not always accuse us, * nor will he keep his anger for ever.


10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, * nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.


11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, * so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.


12 As far as the east is from the west, * so far has he removed our sins from us.


13 As a father cares for his children, * so does the Lord care for those who fear him.


14 For he himself knows whereof we are made; *

he remembers that we are but dust.



Hymn #411: O Bless the Lord, My Soul (verses 1-5)


1 O bless the Lord, my soul!

His grace to thee proclaim!

And all that is within me join

to bless his holy Name!


2 O bless the Lord, my soul!

His mercies bear in mind!

Forget not all his benefits!

The Lord to thee is kind.


3 He will not always chide;

he will with patience wait;

his wrath is ever slow to rise

and ready to abate.


4 He pardons all thy sins,

prolongs thy feeble breath;

he healeth thine infirmities

and ransoms thee from death.


5 He clothes thee with his love,

upholds thee with his truth;

and like the eagle he renews

the vigor of thy youth.


[Words: James Montgomery; para. of Psalm 103:1-5. Music: St. Thomas (Williams), melody Aaron Williams; harm. Lowell Mason. Reprinted with permission under ONELICENSE #84256. All rights reserved.]



The People stand for the reading of the Gospel.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (6:1-6, 16-21)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.


Jesus said, "Beware of practicing your piety before others 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. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 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 at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go 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 you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.



Hymn #411: O Bless the Lord, My Soul (verse 6)


6 Then bless his holy Name,

whose grace hath made thee whole,

whose loving-kindness crowns thy days:

O bless the Lord, my soul!


[Words: James Montgomery; para. of Psalm 103:1-5. Music: St. Thomas (Williams), melody Aaron Williams; harm. Lowell Mason. Reprinted with permission under ONELICENSE #84256. All rights reserved.]



The Sermon

by the Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis



The Invitation to Lent

[BCP, p. 264]


Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.


I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.


Silence is then kept for a time, all kneeling.



The Imposition of Ashes

[BCP, p. 265]


The Episcopal Church believes that the imposition of ashes today is optional. If you are watching this worship service online and do not have access to ashes, you do not need them to worship and honor God today. But if you want ashes, you may come to either our 7:00 AM or 6:00 PM worship services in-person at St. Matthew's.


Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the earth: Grant that these ashes may be to us a sign of our mortality and penitence, that we may remember that it is only by your gracious gift that we are given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.


The ashes are imposed [by any baptized Christian, lay or ordained] with the following words


Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.



Psalm 51:1-18

[BCP, p. 266]

Read responsively by half-verse (at the asterisk).


1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *

in your great compassion blot out my offenses.

2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness *

and cleanse me from my sin

3 For I know my transgressions, *

and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you only have I sinned *

and done what is evil in your sight.

5 And so you are justified when you speak *

and upright in your judgment

6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *

a sinner from my mother's womb.

7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *

and will make me understand wisdom secretly.

8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *

wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.

9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, *

that the body you have broken may rejoice.

10 Hide your face from my sins *

and blot out all my iniquities.

11 Create in me a clean heart, O God, *

and renew a right spirit within me.

12 Cast me not away from your presence *

and take not your holy Spirit from me.

13 Give me the joy of your saving help again *

and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.

14 I shall teach your ways to the wicked, *

and sinners shall return to you.

15 Deliver me from death, O God, *

and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness, O God of my salvation.

16 Open my lips, O Lord, *

and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

17 Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice; *

but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.

18 The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.


The Litany of Penitence

[BCP, p. 267]


The Celebrant and People together, all kneeling


Most holy and merciful Father: We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.


The Celebrant continues


We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

Have mercy on us, Lord.


We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

Have mercy on us, Lord.


We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,

We confess to you, Lord.


Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people,

We confess to you, Lord.


Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,

We confess to you, Lord.


Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,

We confess to you, Lord.


Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,

We confess to you, Lord.


Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,

Accept our repentance, Lord.


For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,

Accept our repentance, Lord.


For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,

Accept our repentance, Lord.


Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;

Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.


Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,

That we may show forth your glory in the world.


By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,

Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.


The Bishop, if present, or the Priest, stands and, facing the people, says


Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desires not the death of sinners, but rather that they may turn from their wickedness and live, has given power and commandment to his ministers to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins. He pardons and absolves all those who truly repent, and with sincere hearts believe his holy Gospel.


Therefore we beseech him to grant us true repentance and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him which we do on this day, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy, so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.



Parish Announcements


Strategic Planning Congregational Meeting #1 on 2/26: St. Matthew's Strategic Planning Team invites YOU to attend the first Strategic Planning Congregational Meeting, called "St. Matthew's Past: Celebrating and Learning from our Parish's History." This meeting will take place on Sunday, February 26 in Toomer-Walker Hall from 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM. It will begin with a catered meal and feature engaging presentations and activities led by our Strategic Planning consultants from the Kaleidoscope Institute. Learn more in this invitation, which is also available in church and will be mailed to church members this week.



The Offertory

[BCP, p. 377]


Giving to St. Matthew's:

  1. Mail us a check or money order at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1401 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd, Savannah, GA 31415; OR

  2. Make a secure online gift to St. Matthew’s and/or automate future gifts at: https://onrealm.org/StMattSav/-/give/now; OR

  3. Text “stmattsav” to 73256 to make a secure online donation through your phone.

NOTE: Donations made online (#2 or #3) through Realm incur a processing fee of about 2.5%. Please consider adding an additional 2.5% to your online gift to cover these costs.

“I appeal to you, sisters and brothers, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” [Romans 12:1]



LEV #28: Down At The Cross


1 Down at the cross where my Savior died,

Down where for cleansing from sin I cried;

There to my heart was the blood applied;

Glory to His name.


REFRAIN:

Glory to His name.

Glory to His name!

There to my heart was the blood applied;

Glory to His name.


2 I am so wondrously saved from sin,

Jesus so sweetly abides within;

There at the cross where He took me in;

Glory to His name. [Refrain]


3 O, precious fountain that saves from sin,

I am so glad I have entered in;

There Jesus saves me and keeps me clean;

Glory to His name. [Refrain]


4 Come to this fountain so rich and sweet;

Cast your poor soul at the Savior’s feet;

Plunge in today, and be made complete;

Glory to His name. [Refrain]

Words: Elisha A. Hoffman. Music: John H. Stockton. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #AF20210320, #SSS167. All rights reserved.



Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow (Law)


Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Circling through earth so all may grow

Vanquishing fear so all may give

Widening grace so all may live

Amen.


[Words: Eric H. F. Law, Copyright © 2015 Eric H. F. Law, Kaleidoscope Institute. Music: Old 100th, attributed to Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84260. All rights reserved.]



Eucharistic Prayer A

[BCP, p. 361]


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.


Through Jesus Christ our Lord; who was tempted in every way as we are, yet did not sin. By his grace we are able to triumph over every evil, and to live no longer for ourselves alone, but for him who died for us and rose again.


Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:


LEV #255:

Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts

Heaven and earth are filled with your glory

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest, hosanna in the highest.


[Music: Grayson Warren Brown, A Mass for Soulful People, Copyright © 1979 North American Liturgy Resources, Published by OCP. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #83420. All rights reserved.]


The people stand or kneel.


Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself, and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all. He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.


On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me."


After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, "Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me."


Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:


LEV #258:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again.


[Music: Marjorie Gabriel-Burrow, Copyright © 1992 G.I.A. Publications, Inc / Royal School of Church Music. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #45465. All rights reserved.]


We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.


Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.


All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.



LEV #267: The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]


And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to sing,


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.

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, as we forgive

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


[Music: Garfield Rochard, Copyright © McCrimnon Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved.]



The Fraction Anthems

[BCP, p. 364, 407]


Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us!

Therefore let us keep the feast!


LEV #270:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:

grant us peace.


[Music: Marjorie Landmark-DeLewis, Copyright © 1990 Church Publishing, Inc., Marjorie Landsmark-DeLewis. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #21221. All rights reserved.]


Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

The Gifts of God for the people of God.



Hymn #149: Eternal Lord of Love


1 Eternal Lord of love, behold your Church

walking once more the pilgrim way of Lent

led by your cloud by day, by night your fire

moved by your love and toward your presence bent

far off yet here -- the goal of all desire


2 So daily dying to the way of self,

so daily living to your way of love

we walk the road, lord Jesus, that you trod

knowing ourselves baptized into your death

so we are dead and live with you in God


3 If dead in you, so win you we arise

you the firstborn of all the faithful dead

and as through stony ground the green shoots break

glorious in springtime dress of lead and flower

so in the Father's glory shall we wake

Words: Thomas H. Cain © 1982 Thomas H. Cain. Music: Old 124th, Public Domain; harm. Charles Winfred Douglas © 1985, Church Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #AF20210320, #28363. All rights reserved.



The Post-Communion Prayer

[Enriching our Worship 2 [2000], pp. 56-57]


Let us pray.


For In-Person Worshippers:

Eternal God, heavenly Father,

you have graciously accepted us as living members

of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ,

and you have fed us with spiritual food

in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.

Send us now into the world in peace,

and grant us strength and courage

to love and serve you

with gladness and singleness of heart;

through Christ our Lord. Amen.


For Online Worshippers and Those Receiving Spiritual Communion:

Faithful God,

in the wonder of your wisdom and love

you fed your people in the wilderness with the bread of angels,

and you sent Jesus to be the bread of life.

Though we cannot consume now these gifts of bread [and wine],

we thank you that we have received the sacrament of Christ’s presence,

the forgiveness of sins, and all other benefits of Christ’s passion.

By the power of the Holy Spirit,

may we embody your desire

and be renewed for your service

through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.



The Solemn Prayer for the People

[The Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 10-11]


The Deacon says:

Let us bow down before the Lord.


The Celebrant prays:

Grant, most merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve you with a quiet mind; through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Hymn #697: My God Accept My Heart This Day


1 My God, accept my heart this day,

and make it always thine,

that I from thee no more may stray,

no more from thee decline.


2 Before the cross of him who died,

behold, I prostrate fall;

let every sin be crucified,

and Christ be all in all.


3 Anoint me with thy heavenly grace,

and seal me for thine own,

that I may see thy glorious face,

and worship near thy throne.


4 Let every thought and work and word,

to thee be ever given;

then life shall be thy service, Lord,

and death the gate of heaven.


Words: Matthew Bridges, alt. Music Song 67, melody from Llyfr y Psalmau; bass perhaps by Orlando Gibbons; other harmony The Hymnal, 1940. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #BP2180. All rights reserved.



The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]


Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!




The Parish Prayer List


PRAYER LIST: Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien, Jr., Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Beverly Kemp, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Jeannette Outing, Nicki Ramsey, and Jewel Wheeler.


BIRTHDAYS: Annie Colbert (2/27), RaShad Taylor Jr. (2/28), Lee Pearson, Sr. (3/1), and Clemontine Washington (3/1).


WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES: N/A


RECENT DEATHS: Bette Milledge (1/29)


May the souls of all the departed rest in peace; and may light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.




Note: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), African American Heritage Hymnal (AAHH), Wonder Love and Praise (WLP), and other sources cited. The Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.


20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page