These are the lyrics to a hymn that we sang at the Ash Wednesday service tonight.
(The first line remembers that traditionally the palm Sunday are kept until this time and burned to make the ashes.)
thus we kneel before the Maker in contrition for our sins.
We have marred baptismal pledges, in rebellion gone astray;
now returning, seek forgiveness; grant us pardon, God, this day!
We have failed to love our neighbors, their offences to forgive,
have not listened to their troubles, nor have cared just how they live.
we are jealous, proud, impatient, loving over-much our things;
may the yielding of our failings be our our Lenten offerings.
We are hasty to judge others, blind to proof of human need;
and our lack of understanding demonstrates our inner greed;
we have wasted earths resources; want and suffering we've ignored;
come and cleanse us, then restore us; make new hearts within us Lord.
-Rae B. Whitney (1991)