In some places, people have a carnival on party Tuesday. They call it the Mardi Gras festival. Mardi Gras means ‘fat Tuesday’ and people often eat fattening foods such as pancakes to use up certain rich foods as they plan to live more simply in the 7 weeks till Easter. Shrove is an old word which means ‘forgiven’.
The 7 weeks between Shrove Tuesday and Easter is the season called Lent. The Christian tradition of Lent is to spend time looking beyond everyday things—to think about God and the things that are really good, lovely and valuable. Lent allows us to appreciate Easter, the highpoint of the Christian Year. Lent is often a time of preparation for Baptism.
is when we use ashes as a symbol of being sorry for wrongdoing and wanting to get rid of it for ever. Ash Wednesday is a call to return to God with all our hearts. This day has become the day when we hear God’s call to repentance and reconciliation. It is a day when we are brought face to face with our own mortality, upon which we reflect in the light of the redeeming love of Christ.
holds a number of traditions including going to the ‘Mother Church’ of the area, the Church in which one had grown up, or attending the Cathedral, and often involved families and mothers as they tended to be close to these churches.
Lent is a time of preparation for Holy Week & Easter. Throughout Lent you should keep the culmination of Holy Week in mind. On Palm Sunday we ride into Jerusalem with Jesus, visit the temple with him, share the Last Supper in the Upper Room, and watch the ugliness and tragedy of his trial and death. Only then do you understand the glory of Easter.
Palm Sunday commemorates Christ’s entry into Jerusalem to accomplish his saving work by dying and rising again.
On the night of Maundy Thursday we remember and celebrate the final supper Jesus shared with his disciples in the context of Passover. The foot washing dramatizes vividly the humility and servanthood of Jesus, and calls us to give witness to our own role in loving service and to make our response to love one another as he has loved us. From Maundy Thursday on, our worship is a continuum through to Easter morning.
The central theme of any Good Friday service must be the cross. It is the day on which we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. All four Gospels tell these events in great detail: Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, John 18-19.
The high point of Holy Week celebrations is known as the Great Vigil of Easter. The Christian Pasch (the term used for the great three days of Easter) is Christ’s passing over from death to life, which is ultimately celebrated during the Great Vigil and on Easter Day.
The Venerable David van Oeveren