Most merciful God,
bless by your Holy Spirit these ashes,
dusky creature of earth and fire.
May all who receive them
and all who look upon them this day
be moved to conversion and newness of life.
May they be no empty sign, no prideful display;
but by your grace, may all who wear them
witness in bold speech and loving act
to what they signify—
your steadfast love for mortal flesh,
your will to heal,
the rich green life you bring from death.
Praise to you, Holy One!
In life and death we belong to you.