Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022, 7PM

Ash Wednesday
March 2, 2022
St. Titus’ Episcopal Church
400 Moline St., Durham, NC 27707
(919) 682-5504

Welcome to St. Titus’ Episcopal Church

Whether you are here for the first time or your family has been part of St. Titus’ for generations, whether you’re here in person or watching online, the Holy Spirit has brought you to this place. We’re glad you’re here! Our Mission and Vision Statements are printed below. You can learn more about this faith community on our website, sttitusdurham.org. Our curate, Rev. Mawethu or our deacon, Rev. Sarah would be happy to talk with you about who we are and what we do at St. Titus’. We invite you to join us on our journey of faith.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

St. Titus’ is a diverse and growing community committed to walking with Christ by serving others, pursuing justice and welcoming all.

OUR VISION STATEMENT

God dreams for St. Titus’ to be sacred ground where all of God’s children experience the unconditional love of Jesus. In faithful response, we will offer Spirit-filled worship where people from diverse backgrounds encounter God. As an intergenerational community, we will deepen our faith through sharing scripture, Christian tradition and our own experience. We will be open and authentic with one another, and respond to the needs of our neighbors with compassion and creativity. Our passion for God’s justice and peace will compel us to become agents for social, political, and economic transformation. St. Titus’ will be Beloved Community.

Serving Today: March 2, 7 p.m.

Celebrant: The Rev. Mawethu Ncaca
Preacher: The Rev. David Stanford
Deacon: The Rev. Sarah Woodard
Curate: The Rev. Mawethu Ncaca
First Lesson: Dana Salmon
Epistle: Keith Bishop

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

The ministers enter in silence.

Celebrant: Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
People: His mercy endures for ever.
Celebrant: 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.

First Reading (please be seated) Isaiah 58:1-12

Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet day after day they seek me
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments,
they delight to draw near to God.
“Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.

Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.

Psalm 103:8-14 Benedic, anima mea

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

Second Reading 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,

“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”

See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see– we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Sequence Hymn Forgive our sins as we forgive HYMNAL 1982 #674

The Gospel Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

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.”

Homily The Reverend David Stanford

An Invitation to the Observance of a Holy Lent

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 Celebrant says
Let us pray

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.

Imposition of Ashes

The ashes are imposed with the following words:
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Psalm 51 Miserere mei, Deus (Read in unison by the congregation as the ashes are imposed.)

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.

Litany of Penitence

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.

Absolution

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

Offertory Give me a clean heart LEVAS II #124

THE HOLY EUCHARIST – PRAYER A

The Great Thanksgiving

The people remain standing. The Celebrant, whether bishop or priest, faces them and sings or says
The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them to the Lord.
Celebrant: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Then, facing the Holy Table, the Celebrant proceeds
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:

LEVAS II #255 (sung at 7 pm)

Holy, holy, holy, holy,
holy Lord God of hosts,
heaven and earth are full of 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.

The people stand or kneel. Then the Celebrant continues
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.

At the following words concerning the bread, the Celebrant is to hold it, or to lay a hand upon it; and at the words concerning the cup, to hold or place a hand upon the cup and any other vessel containing wine to be consecrated.

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:

Celebrant and People
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

The Celebrant continues
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.

The Lord’s Prayer

[Spoken at noon; sung at 7pm]

The Celebrant says
As our Savior Christ has taught us we are bold to say

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.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
or ever and ever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread

The Celebrant breaks the consecrated Bread.

A period of silence is kept.

The Celebrant continues
Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
People Therefore let us keep the feast.

Facing the people, the Celebrant says the following Invitation

The Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.

Please come to the altar to receive the consecrated bread. You may remove your mask briefly to consume the consecrated bread. Due to COVID precautions, we are not sharing the cup at this time. The consecrated wine will be returned to the earth.

Communion Hymn Let us break bread together LEVAS II #152

After Communion, the Celebrant says
Let us pray.

Celebrant and People
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.

Blessing

The Celebrant says
May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you for ever. Amen.

Retiring Procession Lord, who throughout these forty days HYMNAL 1982 #142

Deacon: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
People: Thanks be to God.

Postlude Forty Days and Forty Nights [Martin Herbst (1654-1681)]

REFLECTIONS ON ASH WEDNESDAY

Stuart Malloy

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. It is a somber day of reflection on what needs to change in our lives if we are to be fully Christians. It was not always the way we know it today. Ashes marked on the forehead of worshippers were not given to everyone, but only to the public penitents who were brought before the church. Much like Hester Prynne bearing her scarlet letter, these open and notorious sinners were marked publicly with the sign of their disgrace.

As time went on, others began to show their humility and their affection for the penitents by asking that they, too, be marked as sinners. Finally, the number of penitents grew so large that the imposition of ashes was extended to the whole congregation in services similar to those that are observed in many Christian churches on Ash Wednesday.

We who will bear the ashes upon our foreheads stand with those whose sins may be more public, but not, according to the Scriptures, more grievous to the heart of God. And so we make our confessions. . . . If you only knew the secrets of my heart, if you only knew the sins that I am capable of contemplating, if you only knew some of the schemes I have considered – and of course God does know – then you would know that I, too, am a sinner.

Ashes are signs that we are all in this sin business together, and that the difference between the good in us and the bad in us is sometimes frightfully thin. We so often fall short of the Faith we claim. We have treated people as things and we have treated things as if they were valuable people. And so we look into our hearts and make the ancient prayer of one notorious sinner our own: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

Lent is a season that reminds us to repent and get our lives centered, our priorities straight, and our hearts clean. This holy season offers us a new chance to say, “Yes” to the Lover of our Souls who created us, who made us in his own image. Lent is the time for a restoration project that will reveal the beauty of God’s design for us, showing once again the scale, proportion, and priorities intended by our Maker.

Further, Lent is a season of hope and with ashes on our foreheads and hope in our hearts, we go forth to love and serve. For by God’s grace in Christ, we do not have to stay the way we are.

Stuart Malloy, Copyright © 2015, Christian Resource Institute. Used by permission.

Announcements

Lenten Book Discussion: Join in a virtual discussion of After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging by Willie James Jennings, Wednesdays from 6:30 – 7:30 on March 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6, 2022. The Zoom link is found on the St. Titus’ homepage (sttitusdurham.org) and in the weekly announcements.
Support St. Titus’: If you would like to support our ministries you can make an online donation here by following the QR code or by visiting our homepage: sttitusdurham.org. You can also mail or hand-deliver a check to St. Titus’ at 400 Moline St., Durham, NC, 27707. Thank you
Stay in Touch: To receive weekly email announcements from St. Titus’, email Jack or sign up by following this link: http://eepurl.com/htIWIr .
Sign up for The Titusian, St. Titus’ monthly newsletter, on the St. Titus’ homepage: sttitusdurham.org, or by emailing Jack.
Subscribe to Please Note, a weekly update from the Diocese of North Carolina by following this link: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/QCPKOTo .

Services
Evening Prayer
Wednesdays at 6:30 via Zoom and Facebook Live. Visit st.titusdurham.org for the links.

Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Sundays at 8:30 AM (in-person, no music) and 10:30 AM (in-person and on Facebook Live, with music)

St. Titus’ Episcopal Church
400 Moline St., Durham, NC 27707
(919) 682-5504;
st.titusepiscopal@gmail.com
sttitusdurham.org

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: