Ash Wednesday Lessons

Lessons for Ash Wednesday

February 17, 2021


The Service begins on page 264 in your Book of Common Prayer

Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all 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 you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen

The Lesson Isaiah 58:1-12

Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet!  Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself?  Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

 Psalm 103: 8-14    BCP 733

8   The LORD is full of compassion and mercy,

slow to anger and of great kindness.

9   He will not always accuse us,

nor will he keep his anger for ever.

10  He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.

11  For as the heavens are high above the earth,

so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.

12  As far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our sins from us.

13  As a father cares for his children,

so does the LORD care for those who fear him.

14  For he himself knows whereof we are made;

he remembers that we are but dust.

 Epistle   2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see — we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

 The Holy Gospel                                                                              Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Jesus said, “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father 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 your Father 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 your Father who is in secret; and your Father 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 your Father who is in secret; and your Father 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.

Children’s Service 2019

Children’s Service

Christ Church offers two services for Christmas Eve: a Children’s Service and a later service attending mostly by adults. This year during our Children’s Service there was a special visit from St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas shared with the children how his story came to be and gave the children a reminder of his story: a gold coin (chocolate). During the service children read the lessons and rang bells to welcome the Christ child.

Greening of the Church 2019

Greening of Christ Church


Each year several volunteers gather after the service closest to Christmas to “green” our church for the coming of our Savior.

Instructed Eucharist

Moravian Chicken pies




Moravian chicken pies

Moravian Pies are once again available!  You can pick one up on Sundays or during office hours until we are sold out!  (Our last batch of pies sold like hot cakes!)  Each pie serves four generously and comes to you at a low cost of $14.00.   Pies come frozen and ready to go straight into your freezer or into your oven. Never had a Moravian Chicken Pie? They are similar to a chicken pot pie – however they do not contain any of those pesky vegetables your mother so wanted you to eat.  Simply dark and light meat chicken with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, butter, and just enough flour to turn its own juices into a light gravy.

July 4 2017



On July 4th, the parish joined the Monmouth County Historical Association and many Shrewsbury residents in commemorating the nation’s founding. The day began with a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Allen house where Mother Lisa provided an invocation. Subsequently attendees were invited to cross the street to the Church to view the Vinegar Bible and to be entertained by performances by members of the Dead Actors’ Guild. Bob Kelly described the various special features of the Vinegar Bible to about 70 visitors. Jamie Green portrayed William Leeds and Robert Maber did the same for Louis Casimir DeCoppet. Stuart and Judi Buncher also participated in costume.

July42017 July42017_3


Vinegar Bible 2017






On September 30th the parish held a special event in celebration of the 300th anniversary of our treasured Vinegar Bible. This event consisted of several presentations regarding its History and musical performances of choral selections of that era. Below are some photos of the event. The presentations, the program booklet, additional photos and other information can be found at the blue button near the top of this home page.








2017 is the 300th birthday of our treasured Vinegar Bible. We are planning a celebration of this special year and this segment of the web site will document these activities.


The Vinegar Bible, one of the parish’s treasured religious artifacts was extracted from its display case on June 19th. Its freedom allowed us to use it for our Gospel reading on June 25th and for all to see pages that have not been on view for many decades. The Bible is in remarkably good shape with a binder that is in good shape and pages, that while they show the wear of many page turnings for about 175 years, that are sturdy in their handling.

Bible3 Bible1 Bible2

Vinegar Bible Art Internship

In this 300th anniversary of our treasured Vinegar Bible, we have explored many aspects of this beautiful historic and religious document. After removing it from its display case in June, we have seen many remarkable aspects of this impressive tome. One such aspect is the set of numerous illustrations in the Bible. There are two full page drawings as well as head and tail pieces for each Book of the Bible. These were made from engravings by various artists but who these artists were and what the depictions represent are not known.
In order to build our knowledge of these illustrations we have engaged a student in the Art Department at Monmouth University to study these images. The parish has had student interns over the past four years focused mostly on aspects of our history. This is the first time we will have an art student performing such an internship.
The internship will align with the current (Fall) semester at the University. The student is Campbell Lee and she is a junior. Campbell is an English major in Creative Writing and an Art History minor.
Her mentor for this Independent Study will be Art Professor Corey Dzenko.
Please join me in welcoming Campbell and her adviser to the Christ Church community.

Campbell Lee

Campbell Lee