Here’s a prayer for use on Ash Wednesday, before the imposition of ashes. It was written by Thom Shuman.
Imposition of the Ashes
Our ancestors in the faith
used ashes as a sign of our repentance,
a symbol of the uncertainty and fragility
of human life.
we have tasted the ashes of hopelessness;
we have walked through the ashes
of our loss and pain;
we have stood knee-deep
in the ashes of our brokenness.
God of our lives,
out of the dust of creation
you have formed us and given us life.
May these ashes not only be a sign
of our repentance and death,
but reminders that by your gift of grace
in Jesus Christ, our Redeemer,
we are granted life forever with you.
(A period of silence will follow. Those who wish to do so, may come forward to have the sign of the cross placed on their foreheads or hands. The ashes are from palm branches used at Palm Sunday services in the past,mixed with oil).
~ written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies. http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.ca/