Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Remember,....what?" An Ash Wednesday telephone tag

Remember you are dust - from Jacques Gamelin's Nouveau receuil d'osteologie et de myologie

Ash Wednesday can be so intense sometimes, as it should be. Conversion, repentance, reminders of one's mortality, and the physical, almost irrational, gesture of dirtying one's face are intense stuff.

But, of course, we are human--"Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return." And as humans, we can be quite funny sometimes even in the most serious of moments. Take this story told at our last liturgical coordinators' gathering.

At a school Ash Wednesday liturgy, the students were invited to sign each other's forehead with ashes and were instructed to say "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel." It started off fine enough with the first few students, but with the words not written down anywhere for the kids to read to each other, the accompanying phrase began to take on a life-form all its own.

After a long journey winding through the scores of students in the pews, the bowl of ashes finally came to the last of the participants with the profound admonition: "Take these ashes, for God's sake!"

I hope you all survived Ash Wednesday. God bless us all and all our human-ness during this wonderful season!

(Click on the pic above to learn more about these very interesting drawings.)

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