Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made.
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
I remember my father’s ashes falling into the earth, covered by soil, and now overgrown by ferns and moss.
I remembered him today as I pressed ashy crosses on the foreheads of about 50 people.
Fifty times I pressed my thumb into a bowl of ashes, then touched a warm forehead with my fingers as I used my thumb to trace a cross.
Said the words.
We beheld each other with these marks of our transience.
Never alone in our heart-rending silent prayers,
We approach and gather and confess together.
Return to me with all your heart, the prophet reminds us.
We are beloved.
Even as ashes.
Even as dust.