February 25, 2009

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent for many Christians all over the world. Here in Metro Manila, and in most of the Philippines, Catholics went to Mass for the imposition of ashes. The black ashes are placed on the forehead in the shape of a cross and they come from the palms used during last year's Palm Sunday, which have been burned and blessed. I don't have any photo of this ritual unfortunately, and this is the only image I have which has any relation to this day. This is a small portion of the crypt of the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, used only for those who were cremated. The most popular of the biblical verses used during the imposition of ashes is from Genesis 3:19, "Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return."

crypt of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

19 comments:

अविनाश said...

good one

Pam said...

A beautiful ceremony that continues to give us pause for reflection... have a blessed day, Hilda

JM said...

Very interesting composition, Hilda.

lunarossa said...

In primary school in Italy, we were taken to Mass to receive the ashes every year. I was terrified of the prospect of "turning into ashes"! Not that I feel much better about it now...Bless you, Hilda! A.

Reena said...

ah..okay pala yung crypt sa mt carmel. mukhang maayos. i saw a similar crypt somewhere in the airport area na kasing ayos, and airconditioned pa! :)

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

a very nice post for today.

Halcyon said...

I will definitely be cremated when I die. I think it's a waste of space to plant something which will not grow. ;-)

These crypts look like they are well-visited. It always makes me feel better to know those who have passed on are remembered.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

Marc said...

A very appropriate post for today. Makes one think for a while.
"Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return"

Ursel said...

Cemetery or crypt have a very special charisma. I like the composition of flowers and gray marble.

Jacob said...

Quite a dramatic photo.

Hilda, being new to this, can you help me with regard to the March theme and when I should post re: that theme?

Where do I normally find that info. I tried on CDP, but without success.

Thanks!

m_m said...

Exactly, really appropriate photo and message for today.

MaCoBra said...

Hi Hilda, thanks for your comment. I must say I agree with you. Although the cafe was 'tasty' I prefer churches to remain 'houses of worship or of God'. But that is not realistic. Holland has a very Christian history but that is in a fast decline, has been years. There are about 6000 monumental churches on the nomination to be torn down or turned into mosques, car parks, apartments what ever. In a few years when the old generation leaves this earth, Christianity will be small groups in a hostile environment. The secular society is usually not friendly and the Muslims are on the rise building huge mosques..
It is sad, at the same time the community is getting harder and more aggressive... Maybe, just maybe the crisis will become a blessing..

MaCoBra said...

(Check out my site at http://thepassionsproject.weebly.com/) :)

melanie said...

Bonsoir Hilda. Chez nous aussi existe la cérémonie du Mercredi des Cendres, du moins chez les chrétiens pratiquants. Mais beaucoup, comme moi, ne sont plus du tout pratiquants.

Ta photo est très belle !

marley said...

Very interesting. I've never seen ashes kept in this way before.

Frankie / Nick said...

Very appropriate and very touching.

Ming the Merciless said...

Happy Ash Wednesday to you.

Are you giving up anything for Lent?

magiceye said...

sombrely beautiful

PJ said...

Ash Wednesday is a sublime way to remind ourselves of our relative importance in this world, on all levels and in all relationships. It makes me feel both truly humble and exalted. I love the photo and the biblical quote.