For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith!
For the Kingdom of God to come!
When the priest, marking you with the ashes, puts the holy emblem of penance upon you, accept in a spirit of submission, the sentence of death, which God Himself pronounces against you: “Remember, O man, that thou art dust, and into dust thou shalt return!” Humble yourself, and remember what it was that brought the punishment of death upon us: man wished to be as a god, and preferred his own will to that of his sovereign Master. Reflect, too, on that long list of sins, which you have added to the sin of your first parents, and adore the mercy of your God, who asks only one death for all these your transgressions.
Let us change our dress for ashes and sackcloth; let us fast and weep in the presence of the Lord; for our God is very merciful to forgive us our sins.
The priests, the ministers of the Lord, shall weep between the porch and the altar, and say: Spare, O Lord, spare Thy people, and shut not the mouths of those who praise Thee, O Lord.
Let us Pray
Let us amend of the sins we have committed through ignorance: lest suddenly overtaken by the day of our death, we seek for time to do penance, and be not able to find it. Look down on us, O Lord, and take pity; for we have sinned against Thee. Psalm. Help us, O God our Saviour: and deliver us for the glory of Thy name, O Lord. – Grant us, O Lord, to begin with holy fasting our Christian warfare; that being to fight against spiritual wickedness, we may be aided therein by temperance. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.