Posted by Lewis on May 25, 2005
In Reply to: Re: Ashes to ashes... posted by ESC on May 25, 2005
: : : What does "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust" exactly mean? I am interested in knowing it, as it refers to a verse of the Holy Bible, used in many song lyrics in either English or other languages such as German or Spanish. I'd be glad if someone could help me with this. Thank you in advance.
: : I am not sure if it is actually Biblical; as far as I am aware it comes from the burial service as laid down in the (Protestant) Church of England 'Book of Common Prayer'. It means that according to Christian belief, humans came from dust and ashes and upon death return to them.
: : DFG
: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust -- A phrase from the English burial service, used sometimes to denote total finality. It is based on scriptural texts such as 'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return' (Genesis 3:19), and 'I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee' (Ezekiel 27:18).
: Ashes to ashes and dust to dust
: If God won't have him the Devil must.
: According to Sir Walter Scott...that was the form of burial service given by the sexton to the body of the French spy Guiscard, who, in 1711, had attempted to murder Robert Harley." From "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).
'ashes to ashes' - from the earth we came and to the earth we return
part of the traditional burial service - I presume that the service is set out in the Book of Common Prayer or some such ecclesiastical work - as Church of England services were prescribed by law - the Bishops in Synod must approve the standard permitted wording for certain parts of services ('offices'). Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Holy Communion, Marriage, Funerals and special/Saints Days - are all set out with formal requirements for inclusion. it's a bit like a franchise with a standard manual circulated by head office.