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Ashes

Imposition of the Ashes

Our ancestors in the faith
used ashes as a sign of our repentance,
a symbol of the uncertainty and fragility
of human life.
Like them,
we have tasted the ashes of hopelessness;
we have walked through the ashes
of our loss and pain;
we have stood knee-deep
in the ashes of our brokenness.

God of our lives,
out of the dust of creation
you have formed us and given us life.
May these ashes not only be a sign
of our repentance and death,
but reminders that by your gift of grace
in Jesus Christ, our Redeemer,
we are granted life forever with you.
Amen.

(A period of silence will follow. Those who wish to do so, may come
forward to have the sign of the cross placed on their foreheads or
hands. The ashes are from palm branches used at Palm Sunday services
in the past, mixed with oil).

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

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