Ash Wednesday services

Join us to mark the start of Lent at Church of the Redeemer on March 1, 2017. You have the choice between two Ash Wednesday services:

  • 12:00 noon
  • 7:30 pm

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. (Book of Common Prayer, page 265)

These Ash Wednesday services take place in the Education Building on the Redeemer campus. This is because of renovations to our usual worship space.

Education Building at Church of the Redeemer

Click to download the Ash Wednesday bulletin

All are welcome to join with us on Ash Wednesday. This service may be new to you. Participate as far as you are comfortable. The Education Building on the Church of the Redeemer campus at 6210 Northeast 181st Street in Kenmore, Washington.

Ash Wednesday

The first of the forty days of Lent, named for the custom of placing blessed ashes on the foreheads of worshipers at Ash Wednesday services. The ashes are a sign of penitence and a reminder of mortality, and may be imposed with the sign of the cross.

Ash Wednesday is observed as a fast in the church year of the Episcopal Church.

The Ash Wednesday service is one of the Proper Liturgies for Special Days in the Book of Common Prayer (p. 264). Imposition of ashes at the Ash Wednesday service is optional.

(Adapted from the Glossary on the Episcopal Church website.)


Early Christians observed “a season of penitence and fasting” in preparation for the Paschal feast, or Pascha (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 264-265). The season, now known as Lent in English, has a long history. The word “Lent” comes from an Old English word meaning “spring,” the time of lengthening days.

Originally, in places where Pascha was celebrated on a Sunday, the Paschal feast followed a fast of up to two days. In the third century this fast was lengthened to six days. Eventually this fast became attached to, or overlapped, another fast of forty days, in imitation of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness.

The forty-day fast was especially important for converts to the faith who were preparing for baptism. It was important also for those guilty of notorious sins who were being restored to the Christian assembly.

In the western church, the forty days of Lent extend from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, omitting Sundays. The last three days of Lent are the sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.

Today Lent has reacquired its significance as the final preparation of adult candidates for baptism. Joining with them, all Christians are invited “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 265).

(Adapted from the Glossary on the Episcopal Church website.)

Church of the Redeemer

Community life at Redeemer centers on worship in the Episcopal traditionArt and music vitally deepen this worship. Our faith expresses itself with service to people, locally to internationally.

Church of the Redeemer is at 6210 181st Street in Kenmore, Washington. We are a short distance north of Bothell Way, near the Burke-Gilman Trail. The entrance looks like a gravel driveway. The campus is larger on the inside than it is on the outside.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you.