Category: Easter/Lent

Palm Sunday 2018

Just after Palm Sunday Service, iPhone photo by JMorton

Palm Sunday 2018

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

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!