Lord our God,
on this eve of Ash Wednesday,
we ask that You bless our celebration
of the feast of Mardi Gras.
Bless our table, our food and wine,
as well as all of us
who sit about this feast day table.
Come, Gracious Lord,
and join us at this feast
as we prepare to join Your Son, Jesus,
be prayerfully entering into
these forty days of Lent.
As the food and wine of this feast
give nourishment and strength
to our bodies and spirits,
so may we, during this coming season of Lent,
give strength and support to each other
and to all who accompany us
on this pilgrimage of prayer
from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.
As this Lenten roadway causes us to reflect
upon the death of our Lord,
may we also remember His victory
in His resurrection from the dead.
May this dinner
on the eve of day of ashes
be a joyful foretaste
of the rebirth and new life that is the promise
of the feast of the Resurrection.
Together, for the final time before these forty days,
let us sing the ancient song of joyful victory: Alleluia!
-Edward Hays, Prayers for the Domestic Church