Sign us with ashes

Sign us with ashes. Mary Louise Bringle* (1953– ). This hymn for Ash Wednesday was first published in In Wind and Wonder (2007), an anthology of Mary Louise Bringle’s poems paired with a musical setting for each text. Bringle wrote the refrain text in 2003 after the composer William Rowan* (1951– ) suggested to her a need ‘for a hymn with a stanza/refrain structure that could be sung alternately by a choir (or cantor) and congregation during an Ash Wednesday service as people moved forward to receive the imposition of ashes’ (Bringle, 2007, p. 120). She invokes Genesis 3: 19, Isaiah 40: 7, and the Latin trope Memento mori: Sign us with ashes, merciful God,Children of dust, as to dust we...

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