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Ash Wednesday Prayers

Prayers & Collects for Ash Wednesday

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the penitential season of Lent. It is a fast day and usually falls in February. These Ash Wednesday prayers relate to these themes. More Info: Ash Wednesday

Penitential Prayer of St. Augustine

black and white image of ashes on forehead

O Lord,
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!
It displeases Your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
to whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare Your servant from strange sins.
St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430)

Opening Catholic Collect for Ash Wednesday

Father in Heaven,
Protect us in our struggle against evil.
As we begin the discipline of Lent,
make this season holy by our self-denial.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
one God, for ever and ever.
International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)

Penitential Prayer of St. Ambrose of Milan

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake, Amen
St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397)

A Prayer of Contrition

Merciful Father
I am guilty of sin
I confess my sins before you
and I am sorry for them.
Your promises are just;
therefore I trust that you will forgive my sins
and cleanse me from every stain of sin.
Jesus himself is the propitiation
for my sins and the sin of the whole world.
I put my hope in his atonement.
May my sins be forgiven through His name
and in His blood may my soul be made clean.
New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not the spirit of laziness,
despair, lust of power, and idle talk. (prostration)

But give rather the spirit of sobriety,
humility, patience and love to Thy servant. (prostration)

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own transgressions
and not to judge my brother,
for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen (prostration)
St. Ephraim the Syrian (AD 305-373)

Prayer for Aid in Fasting

Hanging as a vine upon the Wood,
O Christ our Saviour,
Thou hast made the ends of the earth
to drink from the wine of incorruption.
Therefore do I cry aloud:
I am darkened always by the hateful drunkenness of sin;
Give me to drink from the sweet wine of true compunction,
and grant me now the strength, O Saviour,
to fast from sensual pleasures,
for Thou art good and lovest mankind.
St. Joseph Studite, Lenten Triodion

Eastern Sinner's Prayer

O my all-merciful God and Lord,
Jesus Christ, full of pity:
Through Your great love You came down
and became incarnate in order to save everyone.
O Savior, I ask You to save me by Your grace!
If You save anyone because of their works,
that would not be grace but only reward of duty,
but You are compassionate and full of mercy!
You said, O my Christ,
"Whoever believes in Me shall live and never die."
If then, faith in You saves the lost, then save me,
O my God and Creator, for I believe.
Let faith and not my unworthy works be counted to me, O my God,
for You will find no works which could account me righteous.
O Lord, from now on let me love You as intensely as I have loved sin,
and work for You as hard as I once worked for the evil one.
I promise that I will work to do Your will,
my Lord and God, Jesus Christ, all the days of my life and forever more.
Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

Anglican Ash Wednesday Collect

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.
1979 Book of Common Prayer

The Jesus Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have mercy on me, a sinner

Ash Wednesday and Lent Books

              

              

Lent Reading List
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Links and Information

Compiled by

Lent Prayers
Lent
Prayers and Hymns in Preparation for Great Lent
The Litany of the Precious Blood of Jesus
The Great Litany (Anglican Use)
The Decalogue
Seven Penitential Psalms (in English)
Seven Penitential Psalms (in Latin)
Lenten Canticles
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