Well we are all getting geared up for Lent here in Christ Church. I hope you all had a good ‘Collop Monday’ and enjoyed the savoury pancakes. Tonight at 7pm we shall be enjoying the sweet ones. (You’ll fine the recipe over on Kelvin’s Blog at his most visited page.) This is Carnival time folks – goodbye to meat and hello to fasting and abstinence. The fun can’t last, all good things must come to an end. And remember you can’t have Shrove Tuesday without following it up with Lent. Shrovetide is about the forgiveness of sins (‘shrive’ means absolution) and before the Reformation in England people queued up to go to Confession and be shriven as Lent began.
Tomorrow the Imposition of Ashes will be available at 10am and 7.30pm. Ashes are a very ancient symbol of mourning and repentance and are made from previous year’s palm crosses, mixed with a little chrism oil, and the priest makes the sign of the cross on our forehead with the words ‘Remember child, that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Repent and turn to Christ.’ Ash Wednesday is a strict day of fasting, like Good Friday, and some people will eat only one main meal (and no meat) on this day.
Then on Thursday we will hold Morning Prayer every day at 9am. For those who want to take someone on during Lent, this is an ideal opportunity to commit to prayer and reading of Scripture. Some made do it daily, some may make a commitment to come at least once a week. Whichever, you will be very welcome. Actually this is always a great joy for me because saying the Daily Office alone can be very lonely.
Each Sunday during Lent I shall be doing teaching Masses. No sermons, just a little explanation of our liturgy and why we do and say certain things. There will be a new Liturgy Book especially for Lent which gives some of the reasons on the left hand page (and we shall be using the Inclusive Language version of the 1982 Liturgy).
Next week our Lent Group will begin on Wednesdays through Lent looking at Aspects of Prayer. I hope you will come along and find a new way of praying. For some, silence works, and for others colouring in is the best way. We will look at icons and the rosary too. Do sign up if you are coming so that I know how many to expect.
I am going to try and do daily blogs during Lent this year. They may be pictures, quotes, poetry – I’m not sure yet but we’ll give it a go. One of my penances during Lent is always to give up reading fiction and do some ‘serious’ reading of theology so I might share some of that with you too.
May you have a holy and blessed Lent.