A Preface for Ash Wednesday

The following preface was written to mark the beginning of Lent and reflects the language and character of the Lenten material in the Scottish Liturgy 1982 and Daily Prayer of the Scottish Episcopal Church

Dear Friends in Christ, it is the custom of Christian people to prepare to mark the time of Christ’s passion and resurrection by a season of penitence and fasting.

The church calls each of us during these forty days to repent of all that causes harm to ourselves, harm to our earthly dwelling place and harm to our relationship with God.

By carefully keeping these days, Christians take to heart the call to repentance and the assurance of forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel, and so grow in faith and devotion. In turning our hearts towards God, we discover anew the boundless grace of God.

For God will help us to create beauty even within the turmoil of this chaotic world and will help us to gather a harvest of joy and gladness from lives of sorrow and care. Today and every day, God calls the wandering exile home.

We are invited 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.

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