Some find Lent to be a sombre, depressing time. However nothing should be further from the case. Back in the 17th Century the great Anglican Priest poet George Herbert could write, ‘Welcome dear feast of Lent’, because whilst it is most certainly a reflective period it is also a positive time of repentance, healing and renewal. By walking faithfully with the Lord during this great season of grace we shall indeed be better able to enter more fully with him into the joy and victory of Easter. Therefore let us all strife to keep a good Lent.
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of Abstinence. This means that those who are over 16 and under 65 and who are fit and well are asked to deny themselves of some food and not to eat meat. Fasting throughout Lent is a good way to draw close to God, to hunger and thirst for Him. The time we would have spent eating can be given to prayer and the money saved can be given to good causes. What are you going to give up this Lent? Why not join us for Lenten soups on Fridays?
Often people save money during Lent and at the end of Lent it is given to a good cause. Please save your money in one of the Lent Boxes (available in church) and then on Maundy Thursday there will be a special part of the Offertory where we receive these gifts for the Additional Curates Society. This money will be used to supports some of the poorest and most populous parishes in our country. It does this by funding assistant priests, and encouraging vocations to the priesthood.
Lent is a good time for each of us to be renewed in spirit, in our life of prayer and worship and so to be renewed in our service of God and neighbour. An excellent Lenten discipline is to set ourselves to share more often in the public worship of the Church. Why not come to an extra Mass each week or why not join in the celebration of Morning and Evening Prayer? It is particularly good to prepare for Sunday by coming to Evening Prayer on Saturday at 6.30pm.
Now is the time to decide what Lent will mean for you. Above all do not miss this opportunity to grow in grace. Offer your Lenten Rule to God and have a holy and happy Lent that will bring us all to a glorious Easter Festival.