Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lent has started!

It's Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. We had a good turn out for our Ash Wednesday service, when I put Ash crosses on the foreheads of the congregation, a reminder of our mortality, and of God's forgiveness and love. It's always a moving service, and a real privilege. Thank you to the choir for their musical input.

I've started my Lent colouring, and enjoyed meditating on the story of Jesus going out into the wilderness "driven by the Spirit."


 Have you ever wondered how we make the ashes we use on Ash Wednesday? Probably not, but  I took some photos of the process this morning anyway. Every priest has their own way of doing this, but here is mine.
The process starts with some of last year's palm crosses.
Put them under the grill, on some foil, having opened all the doors and windows and put the extractor fan on...

And grill until the palm crosses burst into flames (it is a bit of an alarming process, but I haven't burned the house down...yet)

Then add a few drops of olive oil, to help the ashes stick to people's foreheads.
And there you have it.  (Just in case you ever need to know!)

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