on Ash Wednesday, the pope leads a penitential procession from the Monastery of
St. Anselm to the Basilica of Santa Sabina. Ashes are sprinkled on his head
before he turns to distribute ashes to those in the community.
too are marked with the Sign of the Cross in ashes as an acknowledgement of our
sins. We do not have to put on sackcloth and sit in ashes or wear a hair shirt
to show our sorrow and our need for forgiveness. As we wear those ashes on our
foreheads in our everyday lives, we are recognized as people in repentance for
our sins. We are recognized as Christians beginning a long forty days of prayer
and fasting. No matter how far we have strayed, no matter how bad our sins,
Jesus is always there, accepting us back into his life, reminding us to pray
and to repent.
we begin each Lenten season with the mark of ashes upon our foreheads. This
mark reminds us of our sinfulness, of our mortality, and of our need for
repentance. May we witness this reminder to come to you throughout the year.
May we remember this cross of ashes.
you for guiding us in the right direction. Thank you for bringing us to our
knees for others and for ourselves. Thank you for always welcoming us back when
we have strayed.
we pray for our world. Father, in your great mercy, forgive us."