Lent is a journey. we set out on ash Wednesday with a purpose.
On Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, the words “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” will ring in our ears as we feel the sign of the cross being made on our foreheads in ash. The ashes that we use are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration the previous year.
The ashes symbolize penance and contrition. They remind us of the sackcloth and ashes worn by the Ninevites as an outward sign of repentance. More importantly, the ashes remind us that God is gracious and merciful, always ready to embrace those whose repentance is marked by a genuine change of direction. our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and remind us that our earthly life is transitory, that we are called to live our lives in a spirit of humility and sacrifice and with an eye to eternal life.
Words of the poet James McAuley sum up the purpose of the season well: ‘may this Lenten discipline, which we undertake with love, set our minds on things above’.
While those significant forty day periods in the scripture – the rain on Noah’s ark, Moses with God on mount Sinai, Elijah walking to Horeb to meet God, Jesus fasting in the wilderness – were periods of trial and testing, the outcome of the forty days in all of those cases was a new, more intimate relationship with God. It is to be no less with us.
The liturgy of Lent assists us by offering the opportunity to relive the important phases of the mystery of salvation.
For Christians, Lent is a time to remember our faults, a time of penitence and reconciliation, a time to take on a special discipline so that we may take another step on our pilgrimage. For some it is also a time to get ready to affirm their individual faith through baptism or confirmation.
Lent prepares us to re-affirm or baptismal vows which we will do at the Easter Vigil or at the Easter Masses. We will recommit ourselves to the work of the kingdom for the rest of our lives. Along with preparing for Easter we should consider life adjustment to do the work of the kingdom. For example, a prayer time we establish during Lent or a practice we choose might become a permanent part of our lives.
The following pages offer a program to help make Lent meaningful for each of us, to allow us to stretch ourselves spiritually by taking on a particular discipline and to re-form our spiritual life and journey. Take the time as you ponder these web pages to draw up a Lenten Rule that will help begin a new stage on your spiritual journey.
Events and service during Lent
Tuesday 28 February – Shrove Tuesday
port and pancakes
7.00 pm in the Hawker Centre
Wednesday 1 March – Ash Wednesday
10.00 am Mass with Hymns
7.30 pm High Mass, with the All Saints Choir
Preachers on Sunday Mornings in Lent (10.15 High Mass)
5 march Fr. David O’Neill
12 March Fr. Warwick Cuthbertson
19 March The Reverend Dr. Robert Faser (Uniting Church)
26 March Fr. Warwick Cuthbertson
2 April Fr. Robert Legg
Sunday Evenings in Lent at 5 pm
5 March Evensong and Benediction (plainsong)
12 March Choral Evensong
19 March Taize Prayer
26 March Stations of the Cross
2 April Evensong and Benediction (plainsong)
9 April Taize Prayer
Saturday Evenings in Lent
5:15 pm Anglican Rosary (With the Blessed Sacrament)
6:00 pm Mass