Posted on: Tuesday 5 March 2019
Posted in: Anglican Faith Connections
This week sees the beginning of the season of Lent on Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. We will mark it with a special service for the whole school from Prep to Year 12. As the numbers are quite large, we cannot all fit into the Chapel so we will be using the Sports Complex. As you can see from the age range and the location, planning a meaningful service has its challenges.
I have chosen to follow the traditional practice and have the Imposition of Ashes, but to expedite the ritual and number of staff are going to help in the actual distribution of the ashes. The service itself will be led by students representing the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools and, to make it easier for younger students to follow, I have used the structure of our usual weekly Chapel services. The theme of the service is forgiveness so to bring that message home to all, there will not be Bible readings as such, but two YouTube clips that retell two of Jesus’ parables.
The first of these stories is the Parable of the Lost Son which is more traditionally known as the Prodigal Son and a great example of penitence and forgiveness; these being the central themes of Lent. The second story is the Parable of the Good Samaritan which at first glance seems to have a little connection with these themes. However, if one reflects on what forgiveness actually means and how it feels then one is compelled to share that feeling. What better way than in helping others or doing what Jesus directly commanded that we should love God by loving one another as we love ourselves.
Again, this is a central theme of Lent as Lent is a six-week period of preparation for Easter when Christians not only follow the outward actions of fasting, prayer, and acts of charity, but also the inward processes of thinking and praying through their faith; a process which must include an examination of how they have put their faith into practice – or not – over the last year. But returning to the actual service, we will sing three hymns: Lord of the Dance which tells the story of Jesus, Here I am Lord, which tells of the Christian’s response to the story of Jesus, and Shine, Jesus shine which looks forward to the completion of the story of Jesus. Hopefully, the words we sing, the images we see and the feel of the ashes on our foreheads will be a meaningful way for the us to begin Lent.
Fr Patrick Duckworth