This Ash Wednesday text was written in 2006 to the glory of God for Henry V. Gerike who had requested a text specifically for Ash Wednesday. It is written to the somber tune LLEF. The text speaks of the ongoing significance of Holy Baptism in the life of the believer who lives in daily contrition and repentance: daily dying to sin and daily rising again to new life in Jesus Christ.
1. Now, even now, declare a fast;
Tune, humbly turn--renounce your sin;
Tear not your robe for guilt amassed
But truly rend your heart within!
2. What shall I bring for daily vice
Proffered before my Maker's eyes?
A contrite heart, the sacrifice
That You, O God, will not despise.
3. Ash, only ash I am, O Lord;
Dust, and to dust I shall return.
Death is my end, my just reward,
Solely the wage for sin I earn.
4. What shall I do? Where ought I go
To gain the grace I dearly want?
Only to Christ, who will bestow
Life from His pure baptismal font.
5. Drown, sinner, drown beneath its wave;
Rise, saint, arise--in Christ made new:
Live out the life your Savior gave,
By words you say and works you do.