(We rise again from) Ashes

This hymn for Ash Wednesday was written by American Roman Catholic pastoral musician, liturgist and folk-style composer Tom Conry (b 1951).

It was originally published by in 1978, and is still distributed by OCP Ltd.  In 2019, a revised version of the words was released (no changes to the tune), which addresses some theological concerns that had been raised about the original. 
 
It is set to an unnamed tune, also by Conry.  This has a 4/4 time signature. In the key of Eb, the first few notes are E E_ E E_ E E G_   with accompanying chords   Eb - Eb/D - Cm



Downloads

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Examples

Choir with guitar-led band, professional recording:



Choir with keyboard + band:



Singer with guitar-led backing:



Small choir with keyboard, live recording:



Instrumental with on-screen lyrics:



Instrumental - piano:


Lyrics

Original words

1. We rise again from ashes,
from the good we’ve failed to do.
We rise again from ashes,
to create ourselves anew.
If all our world is ashes,
then must our lives be true,
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

2. We offer you our failures,
we offer you attempts,
the gifts not fully given,
the dreams not fully dreamt.
Give our stumblings direction,
give our vision wider view,
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

3. Then rise again from ashes,
let healing come to pain,
though spring has turned to winter,
and sunshine turned to rain,
the rain we’ll use for growing
to create the world anew
from an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

4. Thanks be to the Father,
who made us like himself. 
Thanks be to the Son,
who saved us by his death.
Thanks be to the Spirit
who creates the world anew
from an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

2019 revision

1. We rise again from ashes,
from the good we’ve failed to do.
We rise again from ashes,
redeemed, O Lord, by you.
Our penance, Lord, our sorrow,
our grieving hearts renew,
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

2. We offer you our failures,
we offer you attempts,
the gifts not fully given,
the dreams not fully dreamt.
Our stumblings, give direction,
our visions wider view,
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

3. Then raise us up from ashes,
your healing ease our pain.
Though spring has turned to winter,
and sunshine turned to rain,
your rain will nurture growing
and create our world anew
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

4. Give thanks to God the Father,
who gave us life and breath.
Give thanks to Christ the Saviour,
who saved us by his death,
who, with the Holy Spirit,
creates the world anew
from an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

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Original words

1. We rise again from ashes,
from the good we’ve failed to do.
We rise again from ashes,
to create ourselves anew.
If all our world is ashes,
then must our lives be true,
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

2. We offer you our failures,
we offer you attempts,
the gifts not fully given,
the dreams not fully dreamt.
Give our stumblings direction,
give our vision wider view,
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

3. Then rise again from ashes,
let healing come to pain,
though spring has turned to winter,
and sunshine turned to rain,
the rain we’ll use for growing
to create the world anew
from an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

4. Thanks be to the Father,
who made us like himself. Thanks be to the Son,
who saved us by his death.
Thanks be to the Spirit
who creates the world anew
from an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

2019 revision

1. We rise again from ashes,
from the good we’ve failed to do.
We rise again from ashes,
redeemed, O Lord, by you.
Our penance, Lord, our sorrow,
our grieving hearts renew,
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

2. We offer you our failures,
we offer you attempts,
the gifts not fully given,
the dreams not fully dreamt.
Our stumblings, give direction,
our visions wider view,
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

3. Then raise us up from ashes,
your healing ease our pain.
Though spring has turned to winter,
and sunshine turned to rain,
your rain will nurture growing
and create our world anew
an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

4. Give thanks to God the Father,
who gave us life and breath.
Give thanks to Christ the Saviour,
who saved us by his death,
who, with the Holy Spirit,
creates the world anew
from an offering of ashes,
an offering to you.

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