Lent, Holy Week and Easter
This year March and April take us all the way through Lent and
Holy Week to Easter Sunday.
Lent begins on 6th March, Ash Wednesday, and we will
mark the day in St Nicholas Church at 6.00 p.m. with a service
of Holy Communion. We celebrate Easter Sunday on Sunday 21st
April with our Parish Communion service at 10.30 a.m. I hope
you will be able to come to both these services and many of the
wonderful moving services in between which take us through Lent
and Holy Week. They are all listed here in this leaflet.
Lent, Holy Week and Easter is the liturgical community
opportunity for us metaphorically to walk the path with Jesus
through life towards death and resurrection. The practice of
observing Lent, Holy Week and Easter each year, in sickness and
in health, prepares us for that moment when we will walk that
path in earnest. It’s good to practice.
tradition is to give something up and take something up for
Lent. If you haven’t chosen anything to take up yet may I
commend a small book to you - Janet Morley’s “The heart’s
time”? In this book Janet gives us a poem and some commentary
for every week day during Lent.
On the Friday following Ash Wednesday she gives us this poem,
Lent by Jean M. Watt.
Lent is a tree without blossom, without leaf,
Barer than blackthorn in its winter sleep,
All unadorned. Unlike Christmas which decrees
The setting-up, the dressing-up of trees,
Lent is a taking down, a stripping bare,
A starkness after all has been withdrawn
Of surplus and superfluous,
Leaving no hiding-place, only an emptiness
Between black branches, a most precious space
Before the leaf, before the time of flowers;
Lest we should see only the leaf, the flower,
Lest we should miss the stars.
Janet closes her commentary with these words about the poem’s
last line, “Suddenly the whole perspective of the poem has
shifted from close inspection of the blackthorn hedges and
Christmas trees to the vastness of the universe. In the same
way, we are invited to allow the intentional keeping of Lent to
rearrange our habitual perspectives on life, to let ourselves be
unsettled so that we do not miss God’s wider vision.”
This Lent let us together embrace the emptiness, the precious
space, the leaves, the flowers and the stars so that we too may
be so unsettled that we do not miss God’s wider vision.
in the love that unites us all
Revd Canon Peter Greenwood