As usual we gathered at Holly House to mark the beginning of Lent.
We chatted over issues arising from Chapter 23 of our book – we all seemed to fall under the Pharisee banner than that of the multitudes!
We drew names from hats to match us up with prayer partners and took time to share briefly with one another in our pairs and then we had a short reflective prayer time, influenced by websites of Wellsprings and Faith and Worship. This is what we did:
Into your presence we come, Lord a few moments of quietness in a busy world that demands our attention. Breathe on us now that we might know your presence and your power as we pray, side by side, in solidarity with one another, and acknowledge our failings and need for God’s mercy an forgiveness for the journey ahead.
Readings: From the Message – Rev 2:2-3 & 3:15-17 followed by silent reflection
I confess that I have forgotten the great love that my God and Creator has for me. I have lived as if I created myself; Forgetful of God’s great goodness to me; Forgetful that I am God’ beloved. I have embraced the feast and neglected the fast. I have lived as if there were no God and have chosen to ignore his call. I have allowed my first love to become luke-warm .
Reading: From the Message – Joel 2:12-20
Then ThirdSpace’s version of the Lord’s Prayer (see previous blogs)
We then made the sign of the cross on each others’ foreheads or hands with the ashes naming each in turn and praying: Know yourself beloved of God. Receive his forgiveness and strength for the journey ahead.
We shared bread and wine with these words:
We share a traditional Lenten bread, the pretzel, which is shaped in the form of arms crossed in prayer. It reminds us that we are called to stay prayerful but to draw strength from Jesus our companion on the journey.
JESUS OUR COMPANION IN PRAYER
We share in wine, the symbol of suffering, a reminder of Jesus in Gethsemane asking that his cup of suffering might be removed from him. We choose to drink, trusting in his strengthening, provision and victory as we embark on this next stage of our own journey.
JESUS OUR STRENGTH
We finished with the circular blessing – which is basically a group hug! – giving each other strength and support for these forty days and nights…
STRENGTH AND SUPPORT