Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. For many, "ashes to ashes, and dust to dust" begins their Lenten journey. Actually, what the priest or minister says during the distribution of ashes is "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
I find the whole ashes and dust thing very depressing. Jesus calls us to love and follow him.
Many people don't realize that there is another option: "Repent, and believe in the Gospel." In fact, in many missals, the order has changed. The repent is now listed first, the ashes is second.
I served for Ash Wednesday. While giving out ashes at Mass, I used "Repent, and believe in the Gospel." One person responded "I do." Another said "thank you."
May you find peace in Christ's Light this Lenten season.