Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ash Wednesday 2020

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris — Remember, O Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust all brought into stark relief as we kneel to receive an ashen cross on our foreheads. No, fool, you're not a God, you're mortal and destined to return to the earth from which you came. 

Remember, the memento mori is cruciform, in the shape of the same Cross which defeated death by death. Here we find life, our mortality shot through and transformed by eternity.

So Good Friday lives within Ash Wednesday and with it the green pastures and flowing waters of paradise, of the empty tomb and Easter. O death, where is thy sting? Still, before we dare claim the victory we must ally ourselves with it, or rather the Victor himself. And so to Lent.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wishing you all a holy and blessed penitential season,



LL said...

Why is it so long before Easter this year?

LSP said...

It's all to do with the moon, LL.

It's also freezing here and might snow. What is this, some kind of "Mine" scenario?

Whatever, I refuse to pay more tax to make the warm weather which has made everything cold warm again.


Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
If the women don't get you
The whiskey must

On a more serious note, and I ask out of genuine and pure ignorance, what does one say to a Catholic on Ash Wednesday?

gL said...

Thanks LSP for that collect and the beautiful Latin, so appropriate to the day. It seems to me that the environment (or “the weather” as you like to call it) is, like Lent itself, as much about discipline as anything else. Levying taxes, a fools errand in this context, is more about punishment and less about redemption and counterintuitive to the Lenten agenda. Moreover, it’s a distraction if it’s dwelled upon as you sometimes seem to do. Environmental discipline, and a sincere desire to change our ways, (another cornerstone of the Lenten agenda) are more likely to help us correct the errors of our recent past as a species. A past marked by self-centered short-sightedness that continues to this day.

Dad of Six said...

A beautiful post Padre!

Adrienne said...

@LL - In AD 325 the Council of Nicaea decreed that Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs on or after the vernal equinox. The date of Easter Sunday can thus fall between March 22 and April 25.

I had to teach that in RCIA and made it clear that I had no earthly idea exactly what it meant. I was fine until we got to the "vernal" equinox.

Beautiful post, LSP. Thank you. I love Lent! Wore my purple coat and purple fingernails yesterday. How liturgical of me...

I wandered over to Red Pill Jew and answered his question to you:

To wit:

Your question to LSP - what does someone say to a Catholic on Ash Wed? Say, happy Ash Wed or have a productive and holy Lent. Do not say, "Did you know you have dirt on your forehead?" Okay - I crack myself up...

LSP said...

N, I'm with Adrienne on that one. And thanks for the Sandburg.

LSP said...

Glad you liked the Latin, GL. I go to the Latin Mass when I get the chance, which is rare because the Missions here are firmly stuck in Elizabethan English, curiously.

As for the Weather, our Old Enemy's been at it again. Frost, biting wind and the threat of snow. We will not surrender.

LSP said...

Thanks, DOS!

LSP said...

Most liturgical, Adrienne, and thanks for explaining the moon thing. The worship of the Church is reflected in the cosmos itself. So, for example, we say Mass facing East and the rising Sun. The Vatican II experts cleverly forgot that in their unholy rush to plywood coffee tables set up in the knave.

Adrienne said...

When we finally finish our church the altar will face east. So glad!

You can call NITZAKHON RPJ (red pill jew) since no one (except for him) has a clue of how to say NITZAKHON. I can sort of say it, but spelling presents some problems.



Neet-tsa-khon" with the kh being a guttural in the back of the throat. Hebrew for VICTORY.