Ash Wednesday

I went to an Ash Wednesday service at my Episcopalian church early this morning, and got ashes imposed. It was a somber service, the church linens purple, no music, no flowers. Very bare and plain. The priest dipped his hand into the bowl of ashes, and drew the cross on my forehead, he said:

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Saying that to dust we shall return is comforting. No matter who we are, where we have been, what we have done in life, all humans come to the same end: death. Lent is about death: the death of Jesus, the death of Self against human wants versus what God wants. It is a period to examine our priorites in life, and “go into the desert” to prepare ourselves to meet the Risen Christ on Easter.

I had the awesome experience of seeing the Irish choral group Anúna in concert on their 2007 Celtic Origins tour. When they performed Media Vita live, I got goosebumps down my spine. A snippet of lyrics from this site:

Media vita in morte sumus/In the midst of life we are in death
Quem quaerimus ad iutorem nihi site domine/ What helper do we seek except you, oh Lord
Qui pro peccatis nostris /You who for our sins

It is a perfect song for Ash Wednesday no?

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