Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Ash Wednesday

About to go off to evening Mass and get my ashes, so I just looked in my new Missal, and thought we're bound to get Repent and believe in the Gospel, rather than Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return; a shame, really. (It was better still in the old version: Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.)

Which made me look in my Old Missal: and what a great set of prayers we used to have at the blessing of the ashes!  Here is just one of them (why has the Angel been banished from the new prayers?)
Almighty and everlasting God, spare the penitent sinner, have pity on thy suppliant people, and in loving kindness, send down from heaven thy holy Angel to bless and sanctify these ashes.  Thus hallowed, may they be a saving remedy to all who, humbly calling upon thy holy name, reproach themselves with the sins of which their conscience accuses them, and who, grieving over their evil deeds, make pitiful recourse to thee for mercy and pardon.  Grant, in fine, that they over whom, in token of sorrow for their sin, these ashes are sprinkled, may be blessed by thee with lasting well-bing of soul and body.  Through Christ our Lord.
Now that's what I call a prayer! And it was just one of the four ancient prayers at the blessing of the ashes. Sic transit gloria mundi and all that.

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