Hearts & Ashes

Resources for Ash Wednesday and Lent

by Laurel Way
Director of Communications

This year Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, which has led to some funny crossover images. For example, conversational candy hearts with “DUST 2 DUST” “REPENT” or ” U R MORTAL.”

And while we can laugh at the juxtaposition of the message of Ash Wednesday on brightly colored sweets, it’s a reminder that Lent is almost upon us.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time when we can stop, reflect on who we are and adopt an attitude of humility. It offers us change to stop the whirlwind of life and activities around us to “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (BCP, p. 265)

We impose the Baptismal Cross on our foreheads as a reminder of the promises we make with our Baptismal Covenant and our vow to walk in the Way of Christ. The 40 days of Lent is time we set aside for self-examination, repentance, fasting, self-denial, meditation, and prayer.

Last year, The Rev. Kirk Alan Kubicek wrote a sermon called “Holy Dust” for the Sermons that Work Podcast. In his sermon, he says:

“The ashes of Ash Wednesday remind us not only of our mortality and need for regular repentance but also that it is only by God’s “gracious gift that we are given everlasting life” through Jesus Christ. Although we are to remember that we are dust, and to dust we shall return, we ought never to forget that we are Holy Dust, created and inspired by the very breath and Spirit of God…”

You can read the full sermon HERE.

Here are some helpful resources to guide you on your journey over the 40 days and 40 nights of Lent.

TEC Lent Resources

Every year, The Episcopal Church offers a variety of Lent Resources for individuals and congregations that can help your journey through Lent into Easter. This year they offer a program called “Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent.”

“Communities are invited to walk with Jesus in his Way of Love and into the experience of transformed life. ”

The program contains videos, adul forum curriculums, calendar, publicity materials, and a quiet day curriculum offered in English, Spanish and French. These resources provides guidance for those who are unsure where to begin on their Lenten journey and also provides support for those who want to participate together. Click below to learn more:

Episcopal Relief & Development Lenten Mediations

The Episcopal Relief and Development Ministry offers their 2024 Lenten Meditations that includes a daily meditation, study guide, meditation booklet, and more. This year, the meditations are written by author Miguel Escobar, the Director of Strategy and Operations at Episcopal Divinty School. To sign up for their daily meditations, and to learn more, click the button below:

Lent Madness – Forward Movement

Our friends at Forward Movement host their annual Lent Madness, a saintly take on college basketball’s “March Madness” Join The Rev. Tim Schneck and The Re. Canon Scott Gunn and fill out your bracket on the Saintly Scorecard and get ready to vote for the Round of 32, the Saintly 16, the Elate 8, the Faithful 4, and ultimately, the grand prize, the Golden Halo itself. This bracket system has a few different levels of difficulty, so anyone can play and it’s a fun experience for individuals and congregations alike. Click below to learn more and fill out your brackets. But hurry, the first round begins on February 15th!

Additional Resources