On the Ash Wednesdays of my childhood, I remember receiving an ashen cross on my forehead as somber words were spoken: "Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return." It was a powerful ritual that stayed with me all day long, as did the ashes.
Since then, I've come to see Lent as a time of remembering and a time for preparation – preparation for resurrection. And I've come to see resurrection as an uplifting, a lifting of the veil that tricks us into feeling separate. Resurrection transforms us. It returns us to oneness – and to the spaciousness from which we came.
Honoring the season in group Thursday night, we gathered in a circle and anointed each forehead with a fragrant oil and these words:
"Remember, you are a unique and beautiful word in the vocabulary of God. You are, already, that which you seek. Whatever you hunger for is within you now. Prepare for resurrection."