Parish Magazine March 2023

Dear friends,

If we weren’t in the season of Lent I would say ‘hallelujah Spring has arrived!’.  However, proclaiming ‘hallelujah’ is one of the things that are proscribed during this period of denial and self-examination.  Along with removing floral displays, refraining from saying or singing the Gloria during the Eucharist and generally keeping forty days of solemnity, not saying ‘hallelujah’ is part of our liturgical observances.

These changes do not mean that we are not ‘praising God’ but that we are doing so in a different way.   The adaptations that we make in our worship are a collective representation of our personal Lent devotions.  Perhaps, you have given something up or taken on a new obligation.  Taken together our private and public observances signify our sharing in Jesus temptations in the wilderness and his eventual walk with the cross to Golgotha.

During Lent we have the opportunity to confront our true selves, a ‘warts and all’ examination of our faith as it really is and, from there, decide how we want our faith to grow and develop.

Someone once wrote that Lent was a time for three things;

A change of heart leading to repentance and reconciliation,

A concern for others which aids our fight against selfishness and,

A time of prayer which requires personal effort.

Each of these elements need to be present if this season is to be of real and lasting value to a Christian.

Like refraining from saying ‘hallelujah’, these elements seem easy but as soon as we truly attempt them the enormity of the challenge quickly becomes apparent.  It is in this vulnerability that the Holy Spirit can enter into our hearts afresh and begin transforming work within us.

I sincerely hope that you are marking Lent in some way and I earnestly pray that the season will be a blessing to you,

Prayers and best wishes

Canon Janice