Ash Wednesday (Option 2)

The purifying walk to Good Friday

Ash WednesdayHandout for Ash Wednesday.

Description: When we receive ashes on our foreheads, it’s to remind ourselves of our sinfulness and our need for Jesus and what he did for us on Good Friday to redeem us from sin. To evangelize everyone who shows up for ashes, this handout asks: What will you do this Lent that will aid your spiritual growth? It gives the suggestion: Identify one fault — just one — and choose an activity or an abstinence that will help you overcome it.

In Joel 2:12-18, God beckons: “Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning.” This scripture and Psalm 51 reassure us that God is merciful toward those who regret their sins so much that they repent. Dealing with our need to change can feel overwhelming and shameful, but if we keep our eyes on God’s mercy, we feel helped, healed, and resurrected.

To help us on the Lenten journey of purification, Jesus is giving us, in Matthew 6:1-6 and 16-18, a walking staff. It has three parts. The bottom of it is prayer; this is what grounds us. The middle section is fasting; this is what gives strength to the staff. The top section, like a shepherd’s crook, is almsgiving; it bends our heavenward heart back to earth where we minister to the people God has placed in our lives.


Or see these alternatives for Ash Wednesday:
preview How healing will your Lent be?
preview How to Experience Victory Over Suffering this Lent

Ideas for use: Bulletin insert or handout for Ash Wednesday or the Sunday prior or anytime during Lent; hand this out to the many rarely-active Catholics who come to church for ashes. Also great for beginning the Period of Purification in RCIA class.

Idea from a satisfied customer: “Last year, we collected walking canes from beach driftwood and painted them in thirds to represent the fasting, prayers, and almsgiving sections you mentioned. It was very meaningful as well as visually impactful. Thank you for such insightful material.”

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Beth Solis, a group facilitator in Oklahoma, says, "Our members asked us in the beginning if we minded taking things slowly so we could have time to really discuss each paragraph. We always have such great discussion! The PPT has been very helpful and is a nice addition."

study group

Feedback from a study group in Florida

Sylvia says, "This experience deepened my love for the Eucharist in ways I couldn’t imagine when we first started this course."

Karen says, "I never thought that I would read an encyclical. However, using the study guide made this experience so rewarding. It broadened my view about the Eucharist and my Catholic faith that makes me love and appreciate what Jesus did for us ever more deeply."

Tim says, "Being the only convert in the group, I ascertained a better and stronger understanding of the importance of the Eucharist, not only in the Mass but also in my daily life."

Jimmy says, "I learned so much about the Eucharist that was powerful and enlightening. This course helped deepen my faith and my appreciation for the Holy Mass."

Erin says, "It was amazing to get everyone’s perspective on the readings. And it deepened my love in the beautiful gift that the Eucharist is to all humanity for our salvation."

Shirley says, "This course was so enlightening. It was a gift that helped me grow in my faith."

Which PowerPoint Presentations cover what Sacraments?

An overview of all 7 sacraments is in the PPT
"The Nature and Function of the Church".

PLUS: The sacraments are also covered in the following PPTs:

Baptism - The Call to Discipleship
& it's further developed in
1. Confession: Sacrament of Healing
2. The Creed
3. Mission of the Redeemer

Eucharist - Christ's True Presence in the Mass
& it's further developed in
1. Life in Jesus
2. Who's Who in the Catholic Church
3. Confession: Sacrament of Healing
4. The Creed

Confirmation - The Sacrament of Confirmation
& it's further developed in
1. Salvation History
2. The Nicene Creed

Reconciliation - Confession: Sacrament of Healing
& it's further developed in
1. Who's Who in the Catholic Church

Anointing of the Sick is covered primarily in
The Nature and Function of the Church

Holy Orders - Who's Who in the Catholic Church
& it's further developed in
1. Christ's True Presence in the Mass

Marriage is touched on in The Call to Discipleship