A good Lent.
Why do we deprive ourselves?
Over the last few years it has become quite popular to take something up for Lent, rather than giving something up.
You can see the attraction. Giving something up makes us uncomfortable – why would you deprive yourself of small treats – especially at the moment?
The Orthodox church seem to understand this better than we do. Lent gets progressively difficult over the coming weeks.
Instead of giving up one small thing the Orthodox will start with giving up one thing, then the following week add another, then another and then another until in the final week of Lent as we enter Holy Week the fasting is very real and very hard.
Why? It’s done because it helps us understand the harsh treatment of Jesus Christ. It didn’t arrive in one go, but over time.
We walk with Jesus as he carries His cross – this is why we undertake the Stations of the Cross during Lent (we’ll be saying them each Tuesday after Mass during Lent).
Our journey is about understanding and sharing His pain. Our lives are not easy, but Jesus understands our pain and hardship – he has lived them Himself – and it’s during Lent we come closest to understanding His – this is why we fast.
The other thing the Orthodox do better than us is feast at the end of a fast! The joy and celebration of Easter Sunday is without compare throughout the rest of Christendom!
Who knows, by Easter Sunday we may be able to share a drink after Mass. We may feel more confident in coming to church, we may feel more connected to Jesus – and that is worth a Great Feast!
However we end up sharing the Feast of Easter, it will be all the sweeter if we have fully engaged with the fast of Lent.
There are significant changes to the weekly services this week, please do look at them carefully.
There will be two masses on Ash Wednesday, do come along to either as there will be ashing at both.
Confessions will be heard on Tuesday evening after Evening Prayer by appointment – please contact Fr. Matthew.
A lent course will be delivered digitally via email over the coming weeks – do make sure you are ‘signed up’ for emails via our website or forms at the back of church.
Due to the large amount of dust being caused by the building work we are cleaning the church (dusting and floors) on Saturday mornings at 10am – please do let Fr. Matthew or Cynthia know if you can help.
The Archdeacons Visitation and our planned Vision Day on the 23rd February has been postponed until after Easter.
Don’t forget to consider setting up regular giving with the Parish Giving Scheme. Call 0333 002 1271 with your bank details to hand and quote our Parish Code – 230 623 503