Daily Bible Reading

Ash Wednesday

Chief Hymn: The Lutheran Hymnal #152

Liturgical Color: Violet


I WILL - || cry out | to | God | Most - | High, *
   To God who performs | all - | things - | for | me.
|| And in the shadow of Your wings I will | make | my | re- - | fuge, *
   Until these calami- | ties - | have - | passed | by. (Psalm 57:2, 1b)
|| Be merciful to me, O God, be mer- | ci- | ful | to - | me! *
   For my | soul - | trusts - | in | You;
|| And in the shadow of Your wings I will | make | my | re- - | fuge, *
   Until these calami- | ties - | have - | passed | by.
|| I will cry out | to | God | Most - | High, *
   To God who performs | all - | things - | for | me.
|| He shall send from heav- | en | and | save - | me; *
   God shall send forth His mer- | cy - | and - | His | truth. (Psalm 57:1-3)

Psalm Readings

Matins: Psalm 6

Vespers: Psalm 51


Almighty and Everlasting God, our Father, Who hatest nothing that Thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those 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 Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with the Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Old Testament Reading (TLH): Jonah 3:1-10

3  Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord . Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

First Reading: Joel 2:12-19

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord , “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him— A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests, who minister to the Lord , Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord , And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ” Then the Lord will be zealous for His land, And pity His people. The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.


|| Be merciful to me, O God, be mer- | ci- | ful | to - | me! *
    For my | soul - | trusts - | in | You;
|| He shall | send | from | heav- - | en | *
    And save me; He reproaches the one who would | swal- - | low - | me | up. (Psalm 57:1, 3a)

Tract (From Septuagesima to Holy Saturday, the Tract replaces the Verse)
|| O Lord, do not deal with us accord- | ing | to | our - | sins, *
    Nor punish us according to our | in- - | i- - | qui- | ties.
|| O Lord, do not remember former iniqui- | ties | a- | gainst - | us! *
    Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, for we have been | brought - | ve- - | ry | low.
|| Help us, O God of | our | sal- | va- - | tion, *
    For the glo- | ry - | of - | Your | name. (Psalm 103:10, 79:8-9a paraphrase)

Second Reading: Matt. 6:16-21

“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.