On Tuesday in Week 3 the PFA prepare pancakes for each class, and on Thursday in Chapel we mark Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. These days are part of one long story leading up to Easter when we remember that Jesus was crucified and rose again from death to show God’s love for the world.
We’ve asked Rev’d Julia, Chaplain at SPW to share more about the season of Lent.
This is 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. It is 40 days because Jesus spent 40 days in the desert praying to God after his Baptism and preparing for his work of teaching, healing and preaching. It is a time of preparation for Easter so some people like to “fast” or give up something during Lent like chocolate or alcohol to remind themselves that it is Lent. Many give the money they would have spent on those things to charity. Other people try and do more to help others in Lent or pray a bit more. Sundays are not counted in the 40 days as they are always a feast day to celebrate, and not to fast or give up something.
At SPW we collect money in Lent boxes to give to the Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) for a project chosen by the School Captains. This year it is WASH, a water, sanitation and hygiene project in Vanuatu.
Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day
This used to be a day to eat up all the fatty foods in the house and have a party ready for the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. People used to give up butter and eggs for Lent so pancakes were a good way to use them all up before Ash Wednesday. It was therefore even more special to have eggs again at Easter having not having them during Lent. “Shrove” comes from the word “shrive” or confessing wrongdoings and then asking God for forgiveness. It used to be a common tradition to confess sins to a priest and receive absolution or assurance of God’s forgiveness from that priest.
Since ancient times, on this first day of Lent people put ashes on themselves as a sign of making themselves humble. The cross of ashes on the forehead is a sign to say to God we are sorry for what we have done wrong and we want to use the Lent period to live well, or perhaps better, to prepare for Easter.
Holy Week and Easter
Holy Week is the last week of Lent, which starts on Palm Sunday when we remember how Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. In many churches Holy Week is a week of special services and celebrations remembering the momentous events of the life of Jesus Christ.
On Maundy Thursday we remember how he had the Last Supper with his disciples and shared bread and wine with them, instituting the ritual we remember in Holy Communion. Jesus also washed his disciples’ feet to show them how to be servant leaders.
On Good Friday we remember how Jesus died on the cross and on Easter day we remember how Jesus rose again to new life and appeared to and spoke to his disciples several times. This is called the resurrection. Easter is all about new life.
Catholic Encyclopaedia online
An Anglican Prayerbook for Australia