Ash Wednesday and the Observance of Lent
Wednesday 1st March 2017
Ash Wednesday and the observance of Lent as we know it came into existence somewhere between the fifth and eighth centuries. Ash Wednesday is now forty-six days before Easter (forty weekdays).
The tradition of fasting during Lent mirrors that of Jesus. In the Book of Common Prayer, Ash Wednesday is described as a 'Greater Fast', one of two, with Good Friday being the other.
Fasting, in Biblical times, was always associated with acts of repentance, along with 'sackcloth and ashes'. People or communities who had sinned would wear sackcloth and sprinkle themselves with ashes, as an outward sign of their repentance.
The 'ashing' of repentant Christians was formerly only for public penitents. These people would have to go to the church door on the first day of Lent, wearing penitential clothing and with bare feet. Penances were imposed, and they were then brought into the church before the Bishop, who would put ashes on their foreheads with the words "Repent, so that you may have eternal life". Out of humility and affection, friends of the penitents would join with them and also have ashes imposed. Numbers increased gradually until eventually all Christians present came forward for 'ashing'. This became the Imposition of Ashes as we know it today. Only the words have changed: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." This is rather like saying "Don't forget your place or get above your station, for that is not what God wants of you".
The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are obtained by burning the palms of the previous year (now the palm crosses).
Lent, as a time of fasting, has been kept almost since the time of the Apostles. It is an end in itself for spiritually strengthening the faithful.
St Andrew's Church 7.30pm Holy Communion and Imposition of Ashes
In modern times we are equally encouraged to 'take something on' as 'give something up'.
More news from Curry Rivel
Curry Rivel Entertainers will be holding their AGM on Mon 16th Sept at 7.30pm in the Old School Room.... Oh No they won't.... Oh Yes they will......Come along and find out what the Entertainers are all about, new members are always welcome.The subject of the next Panto, in February, will be discussed.For further info about the Curry Rivel Entertainers contact: Jenny Ludgate, phone...
Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a celebrated late night talk show host with a background in comedy but the show's ratings have declined in recent years. The network president tells Katherine to revamp things, otherwise she may be replaced. She therefore hires Molly Patel, a young Indian-American woman, to her writing team composed of older white men.Although she struggles at first...
Harvest Festival Celebrations at Curry Rivel United Reform ChurchSunday 22nd Sep 2019Service 10:30 -11:30amGifts of Foodstuffs for local FoodbankCharity Lunch 12 noon — 2 pmDonations towards replacement play equipment for Curry Rivel Primary School.Please join the URC for either or both events. URC ChapelWiltownTA10...
The Village Hall
Old School Room
Meet Village Green