Message from the chaplain - 8 March 2019

Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them;
for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the
hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be
praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But
when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is
doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees
in secret will reward you.
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to
stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they
may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray
to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will
reward you.”
- Matthew 6:1-6 (NRSV)

On 6 March, the church celebrated Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent, a six-week season leading up to Easter. The focus of Lent is taking seriously the commandments to love God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbour as ourselves. Lent therefore involves reflecting on what we need to change about our lives in order to draw closer to God and neighbour, and putting these changes into practice beyond Lent. On Ash Wednesday (which we extended into “Ash Thursday”), the girls attended services at which they received a cross of ash on their forehead. The ash symbolises that part of our lives which we wish to die, symbolically, with Christ on the cross: sin, or that which we allow to get in the way of our loving God and neighbour. Lent culminates in Easter, when we symbolically rise to a new life in Christ, moving forward in a more intimate relationship with our Lord and with our neighbours.

Revd Claudia Coustas

LOVE | COMMUNITY | INTEGRITY