Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Getting my Lent on

ashes on forehead
mortality reminder
but then, back to life

Each year on Ash Wednesday, we have a brief evening service including the imposition of ashes. We say a prayer about coming from dust and returning to dust, and about our mortality, but we aren't told that part individually when we go forward for the imposition of ashes. Instead, it's something like, "May God restore to you the joy of your salvation."

I think I've only been told "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return" one time. It was in college chapel, and I received those ashes from a guy in the class a year behind me. It was humbling, chilling, holy. I really wouldn't mind being told so again. I'm just sayin'.

Tonight our pastor challenged us to give up several c-words for Lent: control, complaining, and I didn't write them down so I can't remember if there was one more word or two. (I'm sure someone will remind me in the comments.) The c-words I do remember are even harder than the one I'd already chosen to give up: cussing. (I already uttered one vulgarity today; there's no chance at a perfect Lenten record here.)

And after the service, some visiting. We aren't a somber crowd for long. Besides, several of us had to go back into the sanctuary for choir rehearsal. And several had band practice after that. There's always more to prepare, and that's good.

Lately I've been countin' up all my days,
good and bad;
I found that joy has more than doubled
all the trouble I've had.
From now on, I'm not gonna worry about
what might be
I know I'm part of something
a whole lot bigger than me.
Life's a song and we're all singing,
Life's a song that never ends.
We pass it on to sons and daughters
and it starts all over again.
-- "Life's a Song" by John Hadley & Sean Locke (recorded by Terri Hendrix)


the reverend mommy said...

I said those words, prefacing them with the person's proper name. I do the full thing.

From dust you came and to dust you shall surely return. Repent and remember the Gospel.

jnors said...

I think the other C- word was COOKIE. Oh, wait, that was this morning's Sesame Street letter of the day.

The C-word was comparison--don't compare yourself/others as you are led then to be judgmental, which is really turning the mirror on least that's what I heard... . Love it when the Spirit speaks to me.

Mary Beth said...

Frankly, I like your church's version better. But I'm in a weird place right now.

Oh, and DB? You are, indeed dust, and headed back there. LYMI.

DogBlogger said...


I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at my own mortality until Mary Beth told it to me straight like that!