"The day is far spent" and there's just time for a quick blog before bed. Getting some sleep is rather urgent as the first service tomorrow is at 7.30 am. Then Holy Communion at 1.00 pm and ending the day with a penitential service at 8.00 pm. I'm guessing that we'll know that Lent has begun after that.
Indeed, tonight's Chinese feast was the first reminder of the time of year - apart from the leftovers that's the last until Easter.
Another reminder that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday is coming from the smell of burned palm crosses that is filling the house - I thought it wiser to prepare the ash tonight just in case things are a bit rushed in the morning before I go out to the early service.
So far there's been no link at all with the photograph of the Kenneth Webb mural in Bangor Abbey that heads up this posting. I was there today and the Canon, my training rector when I was a curate, showed us around. Eliot follows him around knowing that Ronnie is the one person who gets away with spoiling him!
The mural depicts the ascending Christ commissioning the three saints who are associated with Bangor (L - R) Comgall, Columbanus and Gaul. Comgall founded the Abbey in Bangor (Beannchor = horns/peaks in the curve of the bay) in 558 AD. It is said that Comgall was one of "the greatest teachers of missionaries the world has ever seen."
It was good to be back today in that special place and to catch up with Ronnie again.
Good too to walk along the marina and to take Eliot to the beach at Ballyholme. Clown that he is, Eliot dashed out into the sea and SAT DOWN! Can you believe it? Freezing cold water, acres of dry sand, and my dog sits while the gentle waves roll over his back. Complete lunatic!
It was one of those days when there were a number of big dogs running free on the beach and Eliot likes nothing better than to join in the chase. So tonight he's flopped out on the floor, totally exhausted and dreaming of running after the seagulls (or something). Watching his legs move while he's fast asleep makes you wonder just what is going on in his mind. Maybe I'll be doing something similar shortly!
So that was today, with a couple of meetings in the morning as well. Just random thoughts of a rambling rector .... on the eve of Lent ....
Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Collect of Ash Wednesday
Book of Common Prayer.