Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent’s forty days.
Both of us had the day off and we attended the 1210 noon Ashes service together.
The entrance song we sang was “Again We Keep the Solumn Fast”
The first line of the song is ” A gift of faith from ages past. This Lent which binds us lovingly to faith and hope and charity.”
The text is attributed to St Gregory the Great, ca 540-604 and adapted by Johann Sebastian Bach 1865-1755?
Another beautiful song by St Gregory the Great:
The Glory of These Forty Days
The glory of these forty days
We celebrate with songs of praise;
For Christ, by Whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.
Alone and fasting Moses saw
The loving God Who gave the law;
And to Elijah, fasting, came
The steeds and chariots of flame.
So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
Delivered from the lions’ might;
And John, the Bridegroom’s friend, became
The herald of Messiah’s Name.
Then grant us, Lord, like them to be
Full oft in fast and prayer with Thee;
Our spirits strengthen with Thy grace,
And give us joy to see Thy face.
O Father, Son, and Spirit blessed,
To thee be every prayer addressed,
Who art in threefold Name adored,
From age to age, the only Lord.
Short, sweet, and to the point. Thank you, St. Gregory
The First Reading:
A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Joel 2012-18.
The first line is “Return to me with your whole heart, with Fasting, and weeping, and mourning;…..
When we receive the ashes from the priest, he makes the sign of the cross with the ashes and says these words,” Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”.
our priest, father Bob, encourages us today to “Ask the spirit, what do the words mean?” It is by the Grace of God.
During these 40 days of Lent we must focus on three things:
The first is prayer. Prayer is to be more intensive during Lent.
Second is Alms giving. For our purpose, we have “Operation Rice Bowl, and a opportunity to donate small items for various charities.
By the cross of St. Lucy Philipini, there will be a basket of simple items to give which are printed on post cards , which we can choose, and return in the following weeks of Lent a place these items before St. Lucy Philipini’s cross.
The third is Fasting and Abstinence. During the forty days of Lent, we are to Fast on Fridays, as well as on today, Ash Wednesday. Our priest said, that” Fasting spiritually prepares you throughout the season to hunger, give up something spiritual, because We Love Jesus . Be quiet and let the Holy Spirit touch your Soul.”