Telling Stories and Learning Faith: life under construction | A prayer of thanksgiving over the ashes

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Seriously, there are very few of these online, and the one in the UM Book of Worship is loaded with "church words" that I'm not sure are intelligible should anyone wander in off the street tonight. Or even to some who are with us most Sundays.
So here's my alternative:
Holy God, we give you thanks today that sin and death are not your final word, that you allow us to repent, to change, to begin anew. Thank you for the cross, for the reminder that freedom and forgiveness do not come lightly. Thank you for the ashes, which remind us that while we will know pain and suffering, we also know joy. Thank you for your great and eternal love, which conquers even sin and death, and indelibly marks us as your children. Amen.
Feel free to use it, but please include attribution. (Copyright 2011, Anne Walker Sims)

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