Posted by ESC on January 20, 2004
In Reply to: Sackcloth and ashes posted by mary on January 20, 2004
: what's the meaning and origin of "sackcloth and ashes"
From Bible Gateway (advanced search) at http://www.biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible :
3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
TO WEAR SACKCLOTH AND ASHES - "To be contrite, penitent or chagrined over something one has done. It was an ancient Hebrew custom to wear sackcloth dusted with or accompanied by ashes as a sign of humbleness in religious ceremonies." From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).