Ash Wednesday is on February 17th this year and marks the beginning of the season of Lent. In our churches we have long had the tradition of receiving a ‘Cross’ of ashes and holy oil on our foreheads at a special service on that day. The Cross is both a sign of our commitment to Christ and of our embarking on a Lenten journey of self-exploration and learning about our faith. Travelling with Christ for the 40 days of Lent prepares us to celebrate the joy of Easter.
With the restrictions on us we are unable to offer such a service in our churches. We would not be able to touch you to sign the Cross if we could worship together! However, we are using this opportunity to bring the church out to you in your local communities, indeed to your front door!
If you would like me to, I will come to your home on Ash Wednesday. You can choose to stand at an open front door if you wish [suitably distanced and masked of course] and I will do three things:
- give a brief reminder about the importance of the Cross of Ash and of Lent,
- pray a slightly adapted version of the ‘ashing’ prayer, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return, Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ”
WHILE – I make the sign of the Cross on your doorpost in ash and holy oil.
- Then we can pray the Lord’s Prayer together and I will ask God’s blessing on you before I move on to the next home.
If you are not going to be at home or don’t wish to stand at an open door I can still come and perform the rite and will drop in a card to remind you that it has been done [you might notice the Cross anyway!]. If a lot of people request this, I may have to complete the task the day after.
If you would like to mark the start of Lent in this way, please contact our Administrator Rebecca firstname.lastname@example.org or 07817997419. She will require your name, address and telephone number, as well as an indication of whether you want to be present [open door] or for me come, perform the rite and leave a card.
The telephone number is needed so that I can phone ahead and say I will be with you in 5 or 10 minutes.