Ash Wednesday and Lent

Ash Wednesday All-Day Vigil

On February 17, the partnership dioceses will hold an all-day vigil of Ash Wednesday liturgies, prayer, music, readings and reflections on Zoom beginning at 7 a.m. and concluding with a worship service at 7 p.m. Bishop Sean will host the evening service. The entire vigil will take place on one Zoom link, and worship leaders will change every half hour. Email to receive the Zoom link. This link will allow you to join in at any time from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.


7:00 a.m. The Very Rev. Dr. John Downey, Ash Wednesday liturgy with music
7:30 a.m.The Rev. Canon Cathy Dempesy-Sims, "What About These Ashes?" readings and prayers
8:00 a.m.Jaika Stone (aspirant) Ash Wednesday liturgy
8:30 a.m.The Rev. Canon Cathy Dempesy-Sims, "Inviting Grief to Surface," readings and prayers
9:00 a.m. The Rev. Canon Earle King, Ash Wednesday liturgy, with Su Hadden
9:30 a.m.The Very Rev. Ann Tillman, prayers, music, and chant with Maggie Shafer, a parishioner of St. Matthias, East Aurora
10:00 a.m.The Rev. Dr. Mary Norton, Ash Wednesday liturgy
10:30 a.m.Archdeacons the Rev. Diana Leiker and the Rev. Gail Winslow with other deacons assisting, healing prayer
11:00 a.m.The Rev. Tom Broad, Ash Wednesday liturgy
11:30 a.m.The Rev. Claudia Scheda, reflecting on spiritual art
12:00 p.m.The Rev. Matthew Scott, Ash Wednesday liturgy
12:30 p.m.The Rev. Jason Shank and the Rev. Erin Betz-Shank, prayers
1:00 p.m.Robin Kozlowski (aspirant) Ash Wednesday liturgy
1:30 p.m.Canon Vanessa Butler, prayers
2:00 p.m.The Rev. John Wise (transitional deacon), Ash Wednesday liturgy
2:30 p.m.The Rev. Mike Hadaway and the Rev. Elizabeth Hadaway, the Great Litany
3:00 p.m.The Rev. Nick Evancho, Ash Wednesday liturgy
3:30 p.m.The Very Rev. Derrick Fetz, Imitatio Divina, a contemplative prayer form created by St. Clare of Assisi
4:00 p.m.Jessica Frederick (postulant) Ash Wednesday for children, with leadership from the confirmation class of St. James, Jamestown, NY
4:30 p.m.The Very Rev. Canon Barbara Price, prayers of healing and recovery
5:00 p.m.The Rev. Steve Lane and St. Philip’s, Buffalo, Ash Wednesday liturgy
5:30 p.m.The Rev. Dr. Adam Trambley and St. John’s, Sharon, evening prayer with music
6:00 p.m.Andrew Schule (postulant) Ash Wednesday liturgy
6:30 p.m.Gabrie’l Atchison, president of the Union of Black Episcopalians, with members of UBE, prayers and readings
7:00 p.m.Bishop Sean Rowe will host and preach during the closing liturgy

Ash Wednesday Resources

The Rev. Twila Smith, canon for mission development, has provided Ash Wednesday resources for individuals and congregations to keep a holy season:

Fish Fry Alternatives

Follow the partnership Facebook page for social media posts to share and resources for keeping a holy season.

Lenten Meditations and Materials

Several Episcopal organizations offer free Lenten meditations and materials:

Lenten Book Study: Ladder to the Light

During Lent, the partnership dioceses will host weekly book discussions on “Ladder to the Light: An Indigenous Elder’s Meditations on Hope and Courage,” by Bishop Steven Charleston. Participants can choose between discussion groups on Zoom on Sundays at 3 p.m. or Thursdays at 3 p.m. The discussion series, led by Canons Cathy Dempesy-Sims and Twila Smith, will begin on February 21 and 25 and continue for five sessions, through March 21 and March 25.

In the book, Bishop Charleston, a Choctaw elder known by many Episcopalians for his daily meditations on social media, explores spiritual resilience and practices in accessible, practical reflections. “Ladder to the Light,” published by Broadleaf Books, is available in print and digital formats ($13-18) from a variety of sources. If you need assistance acquiring a copy, contact Gabrie’l Atchison in the bishop’s office.

To sign up for the book study, please email Gabrie’l Atchison in the bishop’s office.

Spiritual Practices for Living in Uncertainty: A Lenten Series

Each week in Lent, the partnership dioceses will offer an online program on spiritual practices, led each week by people from across the region. Participants can choose between sessions on Tuesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. from February 23 to March 23, or on Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. from February 25 to March 25.

Each week’s Zoom sessions will explore a specific practice: prayer, learning, stewardship, serving, and relationships, and how Christians can deepen our relationship with God through our daily lives and communities. Participants will receive weekly emails with resources for each faith practice.

To sign up, please email Gabrie’l Atchison in the bishop’s office.