Friday, February 21, 2020

Hymn of the Week: We All Are Dust (Ash Wednesday)

My own church's tradition doesn't usually observe the season of Lent, but I've always loved the liturgy of the church calendar nonetheless. Since the season of Lent begins next week on Ash Wednesday (on which day observant Christians receive a smudge of ashes, often in the form of a cross, on their foreheads), I wrote a hymn inspired by the Ash Wednesday liturgy in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. It's set to the tune "Martyrdom," often used as a setting for the classic hymn "Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed."

We All Are Dust

Almighty God, you made us from
The dust on which we tread;
And now in dust and ashes we
All bow both heart and head.

We all are dust, and to that dust
We all shall soon return.
Here we confess our brokenness,
And for your grace we yearn.

May these dark ashes that we bear
Be unto us a sign
Of penitence, mortality,
Of where your peace we find.

For in the cross, and only there,
Have all our hopes been placed;
And in your gracious gift of love
Eternal life awaits.

Almighty God, we ask you now:
Grant us repentance true,
That you be glorified and pleased
In everything we do.