Ash Wednesday 2017
—Gavin Koh, 1 March 2017
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lent season in the Church, which ends with the great feast of Easter. For forty days (1 March to 16 April, not counting the Sundays), Christians are called to repentence and penitence and fasting. People may choose to do something simple such as giving up chocolate or alcohol, others may choose to perform the full traditional fast (not eating food from sunrise to sunset). During these forty days, we remember Jesus’ own forty-day fast in the desert before the start of his ministry (Matthew 4). During this time, we observe Lent through a process of self-denial, self-examination and prayer.
The Ash Wednesday service at St Stephen & St Agnes was held in the Lady Chapel of the church, with The Rev Kate Harrison celebrating and The Rev John Quick preaching. There were sixteen adults present and eleven communicants.
Everyone present came forward to receive the mark of an ash cross on his or her forehead. The meaning of the ash cross is captured in the words of the prayer, God our Father, you create us from the dust of the earth: grant that these ashes may be for us a sign of our penitence and a symbol of our mortality.
Prayers to everyone in Windsor for a blessed Lent!