Category: Easter/Lent

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Following Shrove Tuesday yesterday, today is Ash Wednesday, the official first day of Lent during the Christian year and the prelude to Easter.  Lent represents the 40 days that Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness, fasting and contemplating his mission on earth. Known as the ‘Day of Ashes’ because of the practice of having ash rubbed &  drawn on the forehead in the shape of a cross (representing Christ’s crucifixion), by a priest at the  dedicated Ash Wednesday church service. The priest and participants from the church congregation intone the phrase either the words:-

“Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or  the dictum “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”       

Anglican,Catholic and most Protestant and Christians hold Ash Wednesday services around the world. Following the service, participants observe some sort of fasting,abstinence and spiritual contemplation for 40 Days, ending on Maundy Thursday in 2018.

The practice of using  ash comes from the 11th Century and is taken from the Biblical Book of Daniel, where ashes are regarded as a sign of Penance & fasting. The ashes are normally made by the burning of palm crosses. These palm crosses were  handed out to  church congregations during the previous year’s Palm Sunday service (commemorating Christ’s entry into Jerusalem to crowds waving palm leaves in celebration) and given back to the priest shortly before Ash Wednesday. The priest will then burn the crosses and mix the ash normally with Holy Oil to sanctify and make a ‘paste’ with which to rub on the participant’s forehead.

Good Friday: Crown of Thorns

Jesus with a crown of thorns, photo by PH Morton

Good Friday: Crown of Thorns

According to Gospels, a woven crown of thorns was forcibly placed on Jesus head prior to his crucifixion.  The crown was a weapon to torture Jesus as well as to mock him.  The crown was in reference to Jesus being the King of the Jews.

The above wooden sculpture was on display at the Victoria and Albert museum.  It is carved from oak, made around ca. 1500-1520 by an unknown artist.  This wooden sculpture is big so it is probably a standalone rather than an alter-piece.

Holy Week: Good Friday

Holy Week, photo by PH Morton

Holy Week: Good Friday

God is a pure no-thing

God is a pure no-thing

concealed in now and here:

the less you reach for him,

the more he will appear

~ Angelus Silesius

God is always been with us.  We do not have to look for Him. He is infinity and beyond!

 

Palm Sunday 2017

Just after Palm Sunday Service, iPhone photo by JMorton

Palm Sunday 2017

Today is Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week, where the crisis of the cross is imminent.

Let us take this Holy Week as a time to ruminate the lives we lead.

To start with, here is a wonderful food for thought:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

~ Martin Luther King Jr

You Are Christ’s Hand

Christ of St John of the Cross

You Are Christ’s Hand

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,

    no hands but yours,

    no feet but yours,

Yours are the eyes through which is to look out

   Christ’s compassion to the world

Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good;

Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.

    – Saint Teresa of Avila
    ……
    This is such a beautiful message from St Teresa.  We are God’s representative on Earth.  Unfortunately in my case, I might not be worthy, I being all too human. 🙁

Easter Egg

Rolo Easter Egg, photo by JMorton

Rolo Easter Egg, photo by JMorton

Happy Easter Sunday to you all.

After a few days of relative calm and serenity to think things through during the time of Jesus’s crucifixion and subsequent death, today is one of rejoicing and celebration as Jesus has risen from the dead.

Today, we eat (meat 🙂 LOL), be merry and perhaps have a little tipple as we revel and be jubilant of the occasion.

During Easter Sunday, it is a tradition that chocolate eggs are given to family, especially to the young members, friends and acquaintances.  It may be in a form of a treasure hunt, which is very popular and fun for all the family.

Why an egg particularly?

Egg is the chosen shape for the chocolate because it denotes a beginning.  From an egg, a life starts.  As Jesus’s death is to redeem us from all our sins, we are given a new beginning to live a better and a more spiritual life. 🙂 Seize this opportunity.

In the UK, the Easter celebration will continue until tomorrow being an Easter Monday.

Again, HAPPY EASTER!

 

 

Ascension Day (Feast of the Ascension)

Ascension-Day-clipart
Ascension Day (Feast of the Ascension)

Today is Ascension Day, it is the 40th day of Easter, when Jesus Christ took his disciples to Mount Olives to watch Him bodily ascend in to heaven.

The Ascension Day, which usually a Thursday (although some Christian denominations have move the observance on a Sunday), also marks the end of Easter.

Apparently the observance of Ascension Day started in Antiquity, around 68AD

I watch the sunrise (Close to You) – Hymn

Christ-the-Redeemer-overl-001
Peter and I went to the Easter Sunday service at our local All Saints’s Church today. During the communion, a hymn was sang by the choir and it just got to me like no other. It really spoke to me. I could not wait to go home to google it and listen to it more.

So got home and googled; the problem was that I don’t really know the hymn’s title. I cannot remember the words. I was going to ask Peter to telephone the vicar about it, but could not really wait that long so went back to the trusty internet.

Deep down, I kept mulling the words ‘watch the sunrise’. I typed it and then added ‘hymn’ and like magic, the hymn was in youtube with its many versions by different singers. I chose Daniel as you cannot go wrong with him.

The lyrics was composed by John Glynn, who was born in Barnet Hertfordshire in 1948. He trained for the diocesan priesthood in 1966 and was ordained in 1977. John Glynn did not only answer his calling from God but also cultivated his passion for music. It was in January 1970 that he wrote the lyrics to Close To You, which became better known for its first line ‘I watch the sunrise’ (Thank God for that, it enabled me to search it 😉 lol). The melody was provided by his fellow student, Colin Murphy, while studying at St. John’s Seminary in Wonersh, near Guildford in Surrey.

John Glynn, after 36 years in various parishes, had resigned from active ministry in 2010 at the age of 62. This did not mean retirement but just moving on to another area, where he can concentrate in his passion for making music inspired by the Gospel of Christ.


I watch the sunrise lighting the sky,
Casting its shadows near.
And on this morning bright though it be,
I feel those shadows near me.

But you are always close to me
Following all my ways.
May I be always close to you
Following all your ways, Lord.

I watch the sunlight shine through the clouds,
Warming the earth below.
And at the mid-day, life seems to say:
I feel your brightness near me.
For you are always . . .

I watch the sunset fading away,
Lighting the clouds with sleep.
And as the evening closes its eyes,
I feel your presence near me.
For you are always . . .

I watch the moonlight guarding the night,
Waiting till morning comes.
The air is silent, earth is at rest
Only your peace is near me.

The Resurrection of Christ

Giovanni_Bellini_-_Resurrection_of_Christ_-_WGA01675
The Resurrection of Christ

I love this painting by Giovanni Bellini.  It is absolutely awe-inspiring.

Apparently it took about four years to complete this painting.  It was started in 1475 and completed in 1479.  It was done in oil.

Giovanni Bellini was an Italian Renaissance painter.  He was born in 1430 in Venice.

GlobalGranary.Org wish you a Happy and Peaceful Easter.

Live well and be an inspiration to others!

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