Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent

Hand sewn cross on my Lenten stole © Ricky Yates

Yesterday, 17th February was Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent.

Originally, Lent was a period in which new Christian believers underwent a period of teaching and preparation ready to be baptised on Easter Eve/Holy Saturday, before being admitted to receive Communion for the first time on Easter Day. Fasting and prayer were regarded as being important elements of that time of preparation.

Lent was also the time when those who had been excommunicated from Christian fellowship because of apostasy or serious faults, could undergo a time of prayer, fasting and penitential acts showing that they had truly repented of their past failures, so that they might be readmitted to Eucharistic fellowship on Easter Day.

In time, it was seen that all Christian believers might benefit from a period of self-examination, fasting study and prayer, . . . → Read More: Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent

My first Holy Week & Easter in the Czech Republic

Image Public Domain via Wikimedi Commons

Despite my good intentions, I’ve once more been very slow in writing the promised post about my first Holy Week and Easter in the Czech Republic. Although we are still in the Easter season I’m all too aware that my comments will be somewhat dated if I don’t write a blog post soon.

As in the UK, one has to distinguish between the way Easter is marked in the predominantly secular commercial world, as against the way it is celebrated in the Christian Churches. One initial observation is that the commercial world does not start displaying its Easter goodies as early as it does in Britain. In Britain, I have many times cringed seeing hot-cross buns and Easter Eggs on sale before even the Feast of the Epiphany on 6th January has passed. Here in Prague, Lent had at least begun . . . → Read More: My first Holy Week & Easter in the Czech Republic

An Interesting Week

The week beginning Sunday 22nd February was always going to be interesting. For starters, it contained both our birthdays, Sybille’s on the 24th & mine on the 26th. It was also the week we were booked to commence our Czech language classes.

image source

Because our birthdays are only two days (but numerous years!) apart, we normally try to have a little celebration on the intervening day, the 25th. However, the liturgical calendar this year decided to play it’s tricks upon us by 25th February being Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Hardly a day for birthday celebrations but instead, an important Holy Day in the Christian Year. So instead of a party, I celebrated an Ash Wednesday Eucharist with the imposition of ashes for those who wished for it. Most encouragingly, it was well supported, both by regular members of the congregation, and by others. These . . . → Read More: An Interesting Week