I am sitting enjoying a cup of lemon ginger tea with my friend. Gillian and I are discussing what Lent means to us and what sacrifices we will be making this year. Lent, a period of 6 weeks and signifies the observance of the liturgical calendar followed by many Christian sects. It begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday for most sects. The Roman Catholic Church ends on Holy Thursday. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the 40 days Jesus spends in the wilderness being tempted by the devil.
It is a time when many people make a commitment to prayer, mediation, the practice of self-denial and finding ways to incorporate more spiritually into their lives. It is a time of renewal. I try to give up something that is difficult for me that will have real meaning, in addition to making a commitment to reading spiritual uplifting material daily.
So today. Ash Wednesday, I attended the children’s service at my church. Our priest is great and is very engaging with the kids. He involves the kids, explaining each step of creating and burning the ashes. He then allows the kids to administer the ashes to their parents and family members. This is the stuff that has a lasting impression on us and our kids. This is the way to help our kids want to observe Lent. The ashes are made from blessed Palms from Palm Sunday the previous year. As the ashes are applied to your forehead,usually in the symbol of the cross, it is commonly stated,
“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” This is a reminder that it doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor, we are all the same when we die and it is up to us to accept the gospel and believe.
I read an article today about rituals as it relates to relationships but I believe that this is perfect time to incorporate rituals into our life. My daughter and I will be reading our daily devotions together and discussing them. We will also practice our 10 Mindful minutes of mediation daily.
Whatever you do, regardless of how much or how little, do it with conviction.