Remember that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.
For Ash Wednesday I am letting Professor Alison Milbank speak for me in this University of Nottingham Department of Theology and Religion Sacred Calendars video.
This series, Sacred Calendars, sets to explain the church year, the liturgical calendar to people who, like me, did not grow up in a liturgical tradition. But it does not assume total ignorance, and that, I believe, is its mark of success.
Let us be penitent; let us rend our hearts and not our garments, and let us sing litanies, long prayers to God, and wear the ashes. On this Ash Wednesday may our petitions for clean hearts and right spirits be made in humility and in genuine love and may our understanding of the ash on our foreheads remind us of the dust from whence we came.