Lent at St Melangell’s Shrine Church and Centre.
Services at St Melangell’s in March will focus on Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday and recalls the time Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism. There are actually 46 days in Lent but Sundays don’t count as the day of resurrection so, if you choose to give something up, it can still happen on a Sunday which may make it harder as well easier to abstain from!
Jesus chose to spend a lengthy time being solitary, whereas so many of us have had this forced upon us by the pandemic, and it’s clear that he was tempted to use his abilities to serve his own interests. As he fasted during that time, surviving on what the desert could offer for survival, so his followers have traditionally also given up food or something dear to them to join with him in the spiritual journey and in overcoming the temptation to be self-serving.
Due to the pandemic, people may now see this differently as we’ve already had to give up so much due to the various lockdowns that the prospect of giving something up for Lent may seem ironic. This year, emerging from the wilderness of Covid and its restrictions, some of the temptations ahead of us may be to remain afraid despite Omicron being milder than previous Covid variants or to be selfish about our own expectations without considering the consequences for other people. There are still things we need to be cautious about despite the statistics diminishing and deaths are still occurring from it although hospital admissions are much lower than they were. The ongoing issues with the supply chain, the increased cost of living and fuel or the tensions between Russia and Ukraine may all combine to make us feel fearful about what’s happening and anxious about the way the world is. So, rather than give something up for Lent when so much has already been lost, why not consider giving something away? Each day, why not do something for the benefit of other people, such as donating items to the Food Bank, leaving an anonymous bunch of daffodils for someone to find or doing something to help those around? In all, those 40 acts will make a positive difference in the face of such negativity – and you can still have a rest on Sundays!
The services in March will be held on the following dates:
Ash Wednesday, 10am: Ashing and Litany
Thursdays 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th:Holy Eucharist at noon.
Sundays 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th, Mothering Sunday: Service of reflection at 3pm.
There will also be a Lent Group, by Zoom – please get in touch for further details. All services at St Melangell’s will be held according to the current guidance of the Welsh Government and the Church in Wales, which still advises the use of masks, social distancing and hand sanitiser. For further details, please ring 01691 860408, check the website stmelangell.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
With my prayers,