Showing posts from February, 2020

Contemplating mortality on Ash Wednesday

Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday. 

Many Christians take part in an Ash Wednesday service. For some, an Ash Wednesday service includes receiving the sign of the cross on the forehead or hand, drawn with ash mixed with oil. The words that are said to each recipient as the cross is drawn are something like this:
"Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ."'Remember you are dust...' is a stark reminder of our mortality and imperfections. It is an acknowledgement that we are human, not immortal and not perfect. It reminds us we are made of the same basic stuff as planet earth - our home.

We receive the ash-drawn cross as a sign of repentance for the evil we humans have done and the good we humans have not done. Repentance is not only feeling sorry about sin. Acknowledging and lamenting sin is the start of a process. The process of repentance involves turning round, changing our attitude towards God and neighbour and being…