Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday 13th February 2013
Producing the ash for Ash Wednesday is  quite time-consuming.  The palm crosses from last year have been handed in so that they can be soaked in water to remove the flame retardant.  After drying them in the oven (whilst Tuesday's supper was cooking), I applied a match and oversaw their burning.  Before grinding them to a powder, I noticed a beauty in the fragile remnants of the palm leaves.
      At this morning's assembly at Bellingham First School I told the story of Jesus' forty days of prayer in the wilderness as he prepared for his ministry.  He needed to discern the right way to follow his vocation [not that I used those words!] and in Lent we, too, try to get our lives going in the right direction.  One child (chosen from many volunteers) came to receive the sign of the cross in ash on his forehead.  The Christian sign reminds us of all this as we try to make life happier for ourselves and other people this Lent.
We had the grown-up version of this in church in the evening.  Meanwhile, I continued with funeral preparation, writing my contribution for the parish magazine and responding to innumerable messages.  After the few days' respite...

...the promised snow did materialise.

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