Lent begins with our Ash Wednesday worship on March 2nd.
There will be a Eucharist at both 10am and 8pm.
Also a children’s Eucharist at 6.30pm
All will include the Anointing of Ash.
The Lenten journey begins with the anointing of ash.
We are reminded of our vulnerability as human beings
and our dependence upon God’s presence, love, and grace in our life.
In the creation story in the book of Genesis
we are told that humankind was created from the dust of the earth.
The anointing of ash on this day reminds us of our origins;
and that our life is a gift of God
lovingly crafted from the dust of the earth.
The ash is also mixed with holy oil as a reminder of our divine heritage.
We are more than mere mortals,
Not only are we mortal, we are children of the Living God.
We may well be fallible, vulnerable, human beings
but we are also filled with the very essence of our Creator.
The anointing on Ash Wednesday reminds us of both
and it is a very fitting way to begin this holy Lenten journey.
This holy season begins in a positive way with God reaching out,
picking us up, and saying:
“You are my son, you are my daughter, in you I am delighted.”
Our Lent course this year is entitled:
“A Saint a Day for Lent”
This year’s Lent course is about some of my favourite saints. When I say saint, I do not necessarily mean those officially canonised by the church, but people who I believe have been particularly open channels to God’s presence and love, and through their lives have mediated that presence to others. When I think of a saint I am not talking about people who are particularly pious and lived exemplary lives (I have a feeling that many of the saints may have been very hard work!); but men and women who seem to have had a unique channel to the holy, and expressed that holiness in a particular way. So the saints that I will write about will be diverse. Some will be priests, or monastics; some will be poets, writers, or musicians; some will be people who were committed to bringing justice to those in need; others will be men and women of prayer; some are people who have opened eyes to the glory of God’s creation; some are obvious names, while others may be less so. Neither are all the saints that I write about from the Christian tradition, I have included women and men from a variety of traditions and backgrounds.
Whilst I believe that a saint is not necessarily someone who has died, and that there are many living saints among us, I have decided for this booklet to stick with those who have departed this life – as tempting as it was to include people such as the Dalai Lama, and others who I believe have done much to show what true spirituality is all about.
Thomas Merton said that it was the calling of everyone on the spiritual path to grow towards saintliness, and I believe that to be true. We are called to be saints, we all have the seeds of saintliness planted within us, and the spiritual path is about tending those seeds. So I hope that the saints we meet along this Lenten journey will inspire and encourage us in our own calling.
So for the 40 days of Lent there is a saint for each day. I will give a little background about each of them and the specific reason I have chosen them.