Bryson City Ash Wednesday Service
Beginning at 6:00 pm, the Ash Wednesday service offers a time to reflect on our mortality. Along with other acts of remembrance and repentance the minister will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers to remember our own mortality, brokenness and need for God.
Each person will be given a small piece of paper on which sin or hurtful or unjust characteristic may be written. The papers are then brought to the altar to be burned, symbolizing God’s forgiveness and the wiping away of these sins that control our lives.
CLICK HERE to watch a video message from the 2016 Ash Wednesday Service.
What is Ash Wednesday?
The first day of Lent. It occurs 46 days (40 fasting days, because the 6 Sundays, which are not days of fast, are excluded) before Easter. Lent marks a time of reflection and preparation for the understanding of the death and resurrection of Christ. Traditionally, during Lent we fast from the things (specifically the one thing) that separates us most from the love of God. Some fast from food (do you love it more than God?) while others fast from self-serving attitudes and practices.
Ashes are an ancient symbol of our humanity. In Genesis 2:7, we read that God formed human beings out of the dust (ashes) of the earth. Our humanity also calls to mind our mortality. In Genesis 3:19, we are reminded that “you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We know the day is coming for each of us when we will return to dust.
It is part of the Good News
While this may sound fatalistic, it is not the end of the story. Lent leads to Easter, the day we celebrate that though our bodies are temporary and our lives are flawed, a day of resurrection will come when we will live in the presence of God forever.
One Wednesday every year we go to church remembering who we are, and hopeful of who we can be.