Ashes to ashes

This week’s verse is Genesis 3:19 (again!)

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

However, in this instance it is the latter part of the verse which is of interest. The Book of Common Prayer uses this verse during its Order for the Burial of the Dead.

Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.

Although, even outside the Church, the phrase is used widely.

Quite simply, we came from dust and we shall return to dust.

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