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REMEMBER YOU MUST DIE


MEMENTO MORI  (remember you must die)

A Liturgy for Two Voices

Remember that you are going to die.
“As for man, his days are like grass…the wind blows over it and it is gone
and the place remembers it no more.”
Virus and violence, disaster and decay; we all fall down.
Nothing can stop death from coming—
Not our diversions or denial,
our insights or investments,
our castles or our causes.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Remember that you are going to die.

Remember that you are dust.
“From dust you came and to dust you will return.”
All that you are and all that you love
was forged from the dust of the earth.
And as it once was, so shall it be again.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Remember that you are dust.

Remember that it’s not about you.
“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains…”
Frightened by the weight of eternity,
We scramble to seal our identity;
Mistaking importance for immortality,
We’re convinced of our own centrality.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Remember that it’s not about you.

Remember that it is about you.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
The gunman, the perpetrator, and the warmonger are made
of the very same stuff that flows through your veins.
We are all complicit and victimized,
All oppressor and oppressed.
Broken hearts create broken systems.

Broken systems create broken hearts.
Wholeness eludes us all.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Remember that it is about you.

Remember that night comes.
We self-medicate with our hedonism and hoarding,
numb ourselves with addictions and amusements,
But still night comes.
We organize marches, plant flowers, feed our neighbors,
Pulling daylight into the darkness, but—
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Remember that night still comes.

Remember that He rules the night.
“Darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day”
Night comes, and we belong to the Keeper of the Night.
The Keeper of the Night, who guarantees the day, has made it safe for us to die.
The Spirit exhales, and dry bones catch their breath;
Ash re-ignites, alive and alight–
Smudged on the black fingertips of God,
who bends to sweep the wide arm of salvation
Through the dust of the earth.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust—night comes, but
Remember that He rules the night.

“As a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on us;
For he knows how we are formed,
He remembers that we are dust.”
Remember, O God, the dust from which we arose
That by your breath, we will arise again.
Señor ten piedad
Lord, have mercy
Señor escucha nuestra oración
Lord, hear our prayer.

~ Allison Tyroch Woodard 03.05.19

Psalm 103:15-16, Genesis 3:19, Eccelesiastes 1:4, Romans 3:23, Psalm 139:12, Psalm 103:13-14

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Scandalous Tables


A follow up resource for THE TABLE series

We typically fill our parties with people similar to ourselves. We invite into our homes those we work with, play with, or otherwise have something in common with. (more…)