Join us online for worship on Wednesday, Feb 17 - Ash Wednesday - with Rev. Alison Boden, Ph.D., Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University. The service will have magnificent music provided by Penna Rose, Director of Chapel Music, and Eric Plutz, University Organist.
The recorded service is available Ash Wednesday (Feb 17) at 8am here Chapel Service . This service will remain archived after the premiere (along with concerts and other amazing programs), and we encourage you to return to them whenever you might find that to be helpful.
Please note this is a fully virtual event. The bulletin for this service is below.
Bulletin for Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Invitatory: Largo from Trio Sonata No. 5, BWV 529 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Welcome: Dean Boden
Call to Worship: Alexandra Miller-Knaack
Hymn No. 205: Forty Days and Forty Nights by Heinlein
Forty days and forty nights, you were fasting in the wild; forty days and forty nights tempted, and yet undefiled.
Shall we not your sorrow share and from worldly joys abstain, fasting with unceasing prayer, strong with you to suffer pain?
Keep, O keep us, Savior dear, ever constant by your side; that with you we may appear at the eternal Eastertide.
First Reading: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 (Read by Dean Thames)
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near—a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come.
Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. Who knows whether God will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
Hymn No. 207: Just As I Am by Woodworth
Just as I am, without one plea but that your blood was shed for me, and that you called inviting me, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, your love unknown has broken every barrier down; now to be yours, and yours alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Second Reading: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from God in heaven. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and God who sees in secret will reward you. “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to God who is in secret; and God who sees in secret will reward you.
“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by God who is in secret; and God who sees in secret will reward you.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Homily: Dean Boden
Invitation to the Observance of the Lenten Discipline
Dear friends in Christ, the first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Savior’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith. I invite you, therefore, in the name of Christ, to observe a holy Lent, by self-examination and penitence, by prayer and fasting, by works of love, and by reading and meditating on the Word of God.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Litany of Penitence
Most holy and merciful God, we confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven. Have mercy on us.
We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit. Have mercy on us.
We confess to you all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives. We confess to you, O God.
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people, we confess to you, O God.
Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves, we confess to you, O God.
Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work, we confess to you, O God.
Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us, we confess to you, O God.
Accept our repentance for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, accept our repentance, O God.
For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us, accept our repentance, O God.
For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us, accept our repentance, O God.
Restore us, O God, and let your anger depart from us; favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.
Accomplish in us the work of your salvation, that we may show forth your glory in the world.
By the cross and passion of your Son our Savior, bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.
Declaration of Forgiveness
Hymn No. 211: Lord Jesus, Who Through Forty Days (St. Flavian)
Lord Jesus, who through forty days for us did fast and pray, teach us with you to mourn our sins, and close by you to stay.
And through these days of penitence, and through this Passiontide, yes, evermore, in life and death, O Christ, with us abide.
Abide with us, till when this life of suffering shall be past, an Easter of unending joy we may attain at last.
Voluntary: Adagio from Symphony No 2, Op. 13, No. 2 by Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
University Chapel Staff: The Rev. Alison L. Boden, Ph.D., Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel; The Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames, Associate Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel; Penna Rose, Director of Chapel Music; Eric Plutz, University Organist; Elizabeth Powers, Chapel Administrator; Alexandra Miller-Knaack, Seminarian Intern; Edgar Gomez, Sexton; Lisa McGurr, Sexton
The University Chapel is a welcoming community of faith. We gather to sing God's praises, to hear God's living Word, to seek justice, and to proclaim God's love for all people.
Calendar: Sunday, February 21, 2021, University Chapel Worship Service. The preacher will be Alexandra
For additional information, please visit chapel.princeton.edu or call 609-258-3047.