He's back from a weekend at Ballygrainey and smells so sweet.
A friend of mine posted this paragraph today:
The word 'Lent' is an old English word for Springtime based on a Germanic word for 'lengthen'. The days are lengthening after Winter and nature is coming to new life. The 40 days of Lent are a season of spiritual growth and new life. It is time for spiritual 'spring-cleaning' and re-assessing our spiritual development. Throughout Lent, we are invited to fresh awareness of the grace and love of God present to us in every season and at all times. To assist us, the Church and Scripture propose three inter-connected practices: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.
It is a most solemn time ... time to take up doing more ... more praying, more giving, more reading ... and a time for giving up, for sacrifice, for self-discipline ...
Maybe the next time I prepare for visitors ... it will remind me of the greater preparation for the most wonderful of all the Christian festivals!
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.
Book of Common Prayer
Collect of Ash Wednesday.
And finally ...
A couple of last year's palm crosses are burned to provide the ash for tomorrow morning's service. Now that is ready I can go to bed ... early start on Ash Wednesday.
You should smell the house! It is rather like the results of an Easter bonfire! A pleasant smell that reminds you of the open air and making tea over a fire of sticks and holidays ...
It is quite amazing how little ash there is from two fairly large crosses! Here it is ready for the morning mixed with some oil ... just need to remember to take it with me at 6.30 am!