Lent has arrived once again and with it comes the tradition of going to mass and being anointed with ashes.
This year holds a little different meaning for me as I was able to attend mass with my ten-year old niece. As we sat in mass, I wondered what she knew about Lent and the act of receiving ashes so I leaned over and asked her if she had given anything up for Lent. She gave me a big grin and shared her choice with me. Then I asked her if she knew any ash songs and she look at me bewildered. I embarked the following melody, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…they can beat anybody but they can’t beat us”. As I had a private chuckle, I told her that it was actually the words from a cheer that we used to chat in cheerleading at old Havering High School. As usual, she shook her head at me and proceeded to tell me that I just wasn’t right.
As we proceeded up to get ashes on our forehead, I heard her giggle behind me and had to smile. I am grateful for being able to participate in this age-old tradition, but more importantly share it with my niece.