The imposition of ashes remind us that we are not God, but God’s beautiful creation. With them we recognize that our bodies won’t last forever and come face-to-face with our eventual death.
Ashes also signify our sorrow for the mistakes we have made.
When we participate in a service of confronting our sins. We recognize our inability to live up to all God has created us to be, and our need to be forgiven.
In some queer faith communities glitter is being used mixed with ashes from last Palm Sunday’s palm branches.
Why you may ask? Parity the creators of Glitter + Ash Wednesday explain why.
“Glitter is like love. It’s irresistible and irrepressible.
Ashes are a statement that death and suffering are real.
Glitter is a sign of our hope, which does not despair.
Glitter signals our promise to repent, to show up, to witness, to work.
Glitter never gives up — and neither do we.”
We do not live in fear of ash – of death. We place it on our foreheads for the world to see. We know that fear will rise making our hearts cramp up. Yet, we know that God specifically calls on us not to project that fear onto the other, the alien, the refuge, the stranger in our midst. God insists that we look for the spark of life, of hope, in ourselves, and one another.
Remember you are stardust and to stardust you return.