Ash Wednesday Prayer

Yes, I know. Ash Wednesday was a week ago. Better late than never?

God –

We do not know what to do with this day. We do not like to focus on our mortality, our fragility. We prefer not to remember that nothing is permanent, not our lives, not our bodies.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.ash-wednesday1

God you made us out of dust. You call us out of ashes. You call us to live, to breathe, to seek life. Remind us this day of the ashes and death around us. Call us to life out of the death of busyness, the ashes of anxiety and comparison and jealousy and boastfulness.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

You, O God, are the eternal One. Your steadfast love is forever. You created us – fearfully, wonderfully made us. You knit us together, and call us to deep and abiding relationship with you. Out of our fragility, out of our ashes, call us to what is eternal – your hope, your peace, your love.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

As we receive the ashes – as we are marked and marred by dust – keep us mindful of our fragility. May we find freedom in our humanness, knowing that all of life is moving, changing, temporary. Catch us with glimpses of your eternal life and spirit. Grant us patience and perseverance with the brokenness is all we see and feel.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

We seek forgiveness for the ashes we create, for the dust at our feet of our own making: the ashes of warfare, the dust of oppression and injustice. Forgive us the burdens we create for others. Out of our ashes grant us courage and wisdom to build communities of peace and freedom. Out of our fragility, may we speak words of your steadfast and eternal presence.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Thank you that you love us, that you create and re-create us. Thank you for your eternal life breathed ever new in us each day.

In your son’s name we pray all these things, Amen.

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