Shanxi Church Holds Ash Wednesday Service to Start Lent

Elder Chen Li  presided over the Ash Wednesday service on Feb. 8, 2018, Shanxi.
Elder Chen Li presided over the Ash Wednesday service on Feb. 8, 2018, Shanxi. (photo: CCD contributor: Zhang Xiaohua)
By CCD contributor: Zhang Xiaohua February 24th, 2018

On February 14, 2018, the church in Linfen held a service to open the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday, attended by about one hundred believers.

Since the end of last year, this service marked the second theme worship conducted by the church that has followed liturgy to celebrate holidays like Epiphany.

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent 2018, which lasts six weeks and ends on Easter Sunday. On this day, pastors place ash on the foreheads of Christians as a symbol of repentance. According to church tradition, there should be no flower in the church during the period and no Christian wedding. Entertainment events should be halted. Seekers should repent and prepare for baptism. Christians have devotionals through prayer, Bible reading, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial, and meditate on the Lord's grace of sacrifice for the world, and reestablish intimacy with the Lord.

Elder Chen Li presided over the service and led the congregation to recite the Apostles' Creed and read Bible verses. Preacher Wang Shuai preached a sermon about fasting, emphasizing the reasons for, principles, duration, and purpose of fasting. The congregation responded with the hymn "Near the cross". 

The service concluded with a benediction. 

(The author is an elder in the church of Linfen and in charge of a local fellowship for the disabled.)

- Translated by Karen Luo

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