Friday, 15 February 2013

I Like Lent

OOdd though it sounds I really like Lent.  Not because I feel overwhelming guilt and the need to atone, nor (merely) because I am a miserable so and so and solemnity suits me better than joyful arm-waving Alleluias, though both are true.  No, mainly I think, because it is a time when it is deemed OK to be quiet.

Many of the major celebrations of the Christian church tend to be noisy affairs, both liturgically and musically, and Lent is not.

Both the liturgy and the music are more restrained, allowing time for reflection and contemplation and even the way the church is 'dressed' is unobtrusive.

This year, along with millions of others I have chosen to give up certain things.  Chocolate of course, cake, sweets, some habitual behaviours which I am better without, but additionally, this year i have chosen to start to read the Bible.  From the first page to the last will be a considerable task, since I intend to really read it rather than skim.

Starting to try to absorb the meaning of familiar words can take considerable time and concentration and I am aware that it will not be possible to complete my task before Easter, but I will continue until I have done so.

There is  no sense of enforcement this year, rather, I feel a sense of anticipation before opening a new page each day and even if it makes no sense to anyone else, for me it gives a feeling of achievement and fulfilment.

This evening is choir practice for Sunday's service where we will once more sing one of the anthems by Farrant.  I love his melancholy and measured music, solemn though it may be and feel totally comfortable with his beautiful settings.

Also today, though it is February, a month I dislike, it has been sunny and almost warm and I am beginning to reclaim my garden.

Lovely Lent.

6 comments:

  1. Even Leviticus?

    I agree with you about Lent -- it is a time for quiet reflection and consideration. I also like Advent for much the same reason.

    Yes, February does not have much to recommend it -- other than it's at least the shortest month!

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  2. Yes, Leviticus and Numbers do give me pause too. :-)

    I'm another fan of Lent and Advent. To me Easter and Christmas lose some of their joy and celebration without these periods of quiet preparation. Good luck with your marathon read through the Bible. I'm reading Isaiah this Lent and getting a lot out of it so far.

    As for February, our daughter was born in it, so I can't dislike it. :-)

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  3. Leviticus I will comment on when I get to it.

    You are right about February, it does have just one thing in its favour, only 28 days.

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  4. The task I've set myself is indeed a marathon Perpetua, but one I will complete even if it takes a year.
    I'm glad you have reason to like February, but for me it has very traumatic memories and I am always glad to get to St David's day unscathed.

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  5. I did this many years ago and the started again at beginning when I finished. Wonderful- always something new revealed every time.

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  6. As I'm still on Genesis I have no real idea how I'm going to feel in say, two months time, but one step at a time.

    Will keep reporting at intervals on how the journey is going.

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