Hymn For Ash Wednesday
From Additional Hymns. This hymn, written in 1999, affirms the link between Hamilton's two Cathedrals - St Peter's Anglican and St Mary's Roman Catholic - whose congregations have combined for Ash Wednesday services over recent years. It is dedicated to Thomas Wilson who completed his secondary education at St Paul's Collegiate School, Hamilton, at the end of 1998. By the age of 16 he was Organ Scholar at St Peter's and Director of Music at St Mary's. He is now Director of Music  at Westminster Cathedral, London.

Suggested tune: Unde et Memores, W.H.Monk. (A&MR 397)

If you would prefer to follow the tune and text on paper you may download a PDF file of this hymn.

Please press the red title to hear a MIDI recording of this tune, and then re-open this window to read the poem while listening.

For permission to perform or reproduce this poem, or for enquiries regarding the purchase of Hymns For All Seasons, please contact Jocelyn.

Hymn For Ash Wednesday

We come  together in Christ's holy name
to witness to the faith we hold so dear.
His liberating gospel has sufficed
to gather throngs to serve him year by year.
Keep strong our hope of Christian unity;
love be the sign of this community.

The ashes, symbol of a fire that's spent,
the residue of life consumed by flame,
mark for us now the period of Lent,
anticipate rejection, anguish, shame.
We meditate on Love's supreme design –
that sacrifice recalled by bread and wine.

So after feasting comes the time of fast,
the forty days preceding Jesus' death;
we journey with him, knowing that at last,
on Calvary he breathes his final breath.
So help us God throughout this solemn time
to be a mirror of his life sublime.

Copyright © Jocelyn Marshall, 2008