Thursday, 19 February 2015
Ashing and another Lent begins
Since it is half-term the choir was down to less than half its full complement, but the sound we made gave no indication of that.
We sang "View me Lord" with one or two slight changes to our previous renditions, long pauses between some of the phrases etc. Accurately and sensitively sung by our half choir.
Lead and conducted by our young organist (the musical director/choir coach was otherwise engaged) the sound was, in my opinion, probably the best we have ever produced.
The homily was well rounded (if a little long) and the 'ashing' itself very well executed.
This is the fifth time I have experienced this somewhat eccentric seeming ritual, and the first time I have ever had what was a real cross, rather than a dubious daub placed on my unsuspecting forehead.
One year, our previous much-loved incumbent, either intentionally or accidentally made what looked very much like a question mark on my face. (control yourselves please), and I couldn't wait to wash it off.
Lent for me is a time for quiet reflection, a reviewing of the past year and a resolve to make the next one better.
Yes, like half the population I do give up chocolate but that is only a very small part of this solemn time. A chance to consider dropping other self-indulgent habits and to take small, positive steps on the journey to Easter.
For us this year at St Mary's has been full of big changes and the last 8 weeks or so very challenging with no less than 6 deaths in our wider church family, including the shocking one of a young priest in a neighbouring church.
Moods have swung from sadness, through acceptance to finally, hope, and the community as a whole has drawn closer to each other.
Our new incumbent is striving to support and uphold those most in need and at the same time to establish a forward-looking church. Hard for him and quite hard for us too.
Altogether a different Lent.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:41:00 pm