Here’s an opening prayer (or Prayer Before the Burning of Palms) for Ash Wednesday. It was written by Rev. Marilyn K. Levine.
Ash Wednesday Prayer
God of our Hearts,
not of our outer garments, nor our church structures,
nor our programs and human plans,
you are the only one who can make us pure.
You are the only one who can wash us clean of all our sin and guilt.
You alone can save us from the terrible Day of the Lord.
You are the merciful and just God.
If we turn, we see you.
Help us to turn, O God of all hearts,
and find you here with us:
Emmanuel – the Christ-heart within us all.
We light our fires for you, to reflect your shining.
~ from Heart of the Matter: Service for Ash Wednesday, written by Rev. Marilyn K. Levine. Posted on the United Church of Christ website. http://www.ucc.org/worship/worship-ways/year-a/le/lent-ash-wednesday.html