Ash Wednesday and Lent 2021

Ash Wednesday and Lent 2021

UPDATED TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021– In person imposition of ashes in the locations listed below have been canceled, with the exception of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Keller, which will proceed as scheduled.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues for 40 days (not counting Sundays) before culminating in Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday is on February 17 this year. Easter Sunday is April 4.

On Ash Wednesday, Episcopalians, along with many other Christians in different traditions, wear a smudgy cross of ash on our foreheads to remind us of our mortality. This ancient ritual links us to countless generations who have turned humbly to God for help in absorbing the knowledge of our inevitable death in a way that will shape our living.

As always, the Ash Wednesday liturgy will mark the beginning of forty days of sitting with the knowledge of our mortality, knowledge twinned with the astonishing news of our redemption.

But this year, because of the Covid 19 pandemic, we have had daily reminders of our mortality. Ash Wednesday takes on an added poignancy as we sit with the knowledge that Covid 19 has claimed the lives of more than 470,000 Americans since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. 

Countless more have been affected by the loss of family members and friends, the loss of jobs, the impact on schooling, and on daily life. We continue to endure the suspension of worshiping together in person. So this year, the theme for the diocesan Lenten services is Joy in the Wilderness. This will allow us to acknowledge the austerity of the pandemic while exploring hope, grace, courage, resilience, grief, and anger, not necessarily in that order. It will remind us that even in the wilderness, we never are alone. It will allow us to step into and walk through Lent focused on the hope of Easter.

The Ash Wednesday service of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth will be at 7 am Wednesday, February 17, 2021,  on the Diocesan Facebook Page and the Diocesan YouTube Channel. The worship leaflet for this service can be downloaded here. The text of the meditation can be read here that day.

The Rev.  Kevin Johnson of St. Alban’s, Theatre Arlington, will be offering the meditation. The Rev. Karen Calafat of St. Luke’s in the Meadow, Fort  Worth, will be the officiant.

The service will be available all during the day for people to access as they can. Please check with your own congregations to see when they are offering services.

Safely Receive Ashes

People are invited to come to one of several locations in the diocese to safely receive ashes. Everyone is required to wear a mask. All are invited, whether you are a member of these congregations or not:

7:30 to 8:30 am; 4:45 to 6 pm, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 223. S. Pearson Lane, Keller, TX 76248, will be offering Drive Thru ashes in their parking lot. Read more about how to impose ashes at home if you cannot drive to the church.


7 to 8 am; 11 am to 1 pm; 6 to 7 pm, St. Alban’s, Theatre Arlington, 305 W. Main, Arlington, TX, will be offering ashes at the theatre lobby door or drive thru in the parking lot.

10 am to noon, St. Stephen’s, 463 West Harwood Road, Hurst, TX 76054, will be offering ashes in front of the church in the shopping center.

11 am to 1 pm, St. Luke’s in the Meadow, 4301 Meadowbrook Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76103, will be offering ashes inside the double red doors facing Somerset or at the curb on Somerset by the doors.

12:30 to 1:30, Trinity Episcopal Church, 3401 Bellaire Dr. South, Fort Worth, 76109, will be offering ashes in the parking lot in front of the church.

Wednesday Evening Lenten worship

Wednesday evening Lenten worship will be a journey on the Way of the Cross, moving through two or three Stations each week for the six weeks of Lent. Each evening will end with Compline. These services will be posted  on the Diocesan Facebook Page and the Diocesan YouTube Channel at 5 pm each Wednesday.The worship leaflet for this service can be downloaded here. Officiants are the Rev. Kevin Johnson, St. Alban’s, Theatre Arlington; the Rev. Karen Calafat, St. Luke’s in the Meadow, Fort Worth; and the Rev. Allison Sandlin Liles, St. Stephen’s, Hurst.

Call to the Observance of a Holy Lent                                                                 

Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith. 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. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.  From the Ash Wednesday liturgy BCP 264