Rites For the Christian Year – From Ashes to Water to Oil

Ash Wednesday

At the conclusion of the Ash Wednesday service, this rite is spoken by the one recieving the imposition of ashes, the two parts are said immediately before and then after the ashes are imposed on the forehead in the form of a cross.

Merciful God,
In humble repentance
We mark ourselves with ashes and dust, a sign of mourning and repentance.
You formed us from the dust of the earth and to it we shall return,
We confess we have sinned against you, our creator, in what we have done and left undone.

Imposition of ashes

Righteous Lord Jesus
In humble hope,
We are marked with the sign of the cross, a sign of your faith.
You emptied yourself to become a man, and in perfect obedience you went to the cross.
Grant us this Lenten season to take up our cross and follow you, to Jerusalem and through Good Friday.

Easter Sunday

Upon entering the church on Easter morning, this rite is spoken by the one remembering (or anticipating) their baptism, the two parts are said immediately before and then after the celebrant takes up the baptismal waters and make the sign of a cross over themself.

Faithful God,
In joyful celebration*,
We touch the baptismal waters, a sign of cleansing and resurrection.
You sunder waters and call forth life, you raise the dead to life.
We confess we have been enslaved in sin, dead in our trespasses, buried.

Remembrance of Baptism

Loving Lord Jesus,
In joyful remembrance*,
We are marked with the sign of the cross, a sign of your faith
You were crucified, dead, and buried, but by the power of the Holy Spirit you were raised to life.

Grant that we may die to sin and live to Christ this Eastertide.

*For the not yet baptized, “anticipation” should be substituted

Pentecost Sunday

At the conclusion of the Pentecost Sunday service, this rite is spoken by the one being anointed with oil, the two parts are said immediately before and then after the pastor anoints the celebrant’s forehead in the form of a cross.

Gracious God,
In reverent dedication,
We anoint with holy oil, a sign that we are consecrated and baptized by your Spirit,
You are the breath of life in creation, and the pledge and seal of Christ’s redemption.
We confess we have been unfaithfully in loving you with all of our spirit, soul, and body.

Anointing oil

Holy Lord,
In reverence and boldness
We are marked with the sign of the cross, a sign of your faith.
You poured out your Holy Spirit on the church at Pentecost.
Grant that we may be sanctified through and through, our whole spirit, soul, and body kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Purpose of these rites:

I belive our church and especially our children should have tangible ways of worshipping, engaging and understanding the faith. Let’s find ways to allow our children to not just hear, but also see with their eyes, and touch with their hands the proclamation of eternal life that is our fellowship with the Triune God.

Alpha – Omega; A Scripture Compilation for Kingdomtide

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the LORD,

“who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Chi-Ro Alpha Omega – Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, now the Word was with God, and the Word was God and all things were made through him. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light- the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. But sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. For we all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way.

But when the fullness of time had come the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. So Mary gave birth to him, her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He taught, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Yet He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

He said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” So he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For as in Adam all die, so also in Him shall all be made alive. And when He had been crucified he said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. But three days later he was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead.

After that he was taken up into heaven, and the LORD said to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” Thereafter, He who is seated on the throne will say, “I am making everything new!” Then he will say these words that are trustworthy and true “It is finished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” And behold, God has exalted him to the highest place and given him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Edited by Nathan Gilley using the English Standard Version (ESV)

Rev 1:8, Gen 1:1, Jn 1:1,3, Gen 1:3, Jn 1:9, Ro 5:12, Isaiah 53:6, Gal 4:4, Jn1:14, Phil 2:5-6, Luke 2:7, Isa 53:2, Luke 6:27,28,31, Isa 53:3, Jn 6:35, Is 53:5, Phil 2:8, 1Cor 15:22, John19:30, Ro 1:4, Mrk 16:19, Ps 110:1, Rev 21:4,5, Phil 2:9

The idea for compiling this reading was inspired by the two divine utterances of “It is finished.” Once on the cross and once at the end of all things.