Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

I woke this morning knowing it was Ash Wednesday but with a feeling of sadness that our church at the moment doesn't celebrate it. In the past our vicars have held a service and the palm crosses from the previous year have been burned and a cross was marked on our foreheads if we wanted to go up to receive this.

It also marks the beginning of the season of Lent where one is encouraged to give up something (fasting) and spend more time in prayer.

Ash Wednesday
In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).
Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. During some Ash Wednesday services, the minister will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers.

I want to spend this season of Lent really focusing on all that is Easter and what this means to me as a Christian. My fasting is going to be ‘no chocolate’ or chocolate baked goodies.
I am also going to focus my prayer times on Gods direction for us as a family, especially for hubby and me.

I was unsure where to start so I turned to the Anglican Prayer Book and found the readings for this day a great place to start.

Sentence of the Day
Return to the Lord your God, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
Joel 2:13

When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret.
Matthew 6:17-18

Collect of the Day
God of the desert,
as we follow Jesus into the unknown,
may we recognise the tempter when he comes;
let it be your bread we eat,
your world we serve and you alone we worship.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

Almighty and merciful God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all who are penitent;
create in us new and contrite hearts,
so that when we turn to you and confess our sins
we may receive your full and perfect forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

I also discovered a very long poem written by T S Elliot on his thoughts of Ash Wendesday after his conversion

1 comment :

  1. i think it's a great idear , i have face book friends ,and some of those have had differnt fastings over time ,,, one gave up eating only eating at dinner time for the month
    another gave up breakfast and her 4 year old gave up sweets for a month , i feel we could all reconect with god this way ,i guess it's something we should all look at doing giving up something after all look what sacrafice he made for us...