Last Sunday as we celebrated communion my thoughts were brought back to Jesus’ statement: “As often as you do this, remember me.” While these words recorded in scripture were specific to the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, I see a practical application to each of the repeated annual observances through the Christian calendar year.
We are just coming to the end of the Season of Epiphany (the revealing of God’s Glory in Jesus, the Light of the world) and now enter the Season of Lent.
Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent starts, comes from the old Middle English word “Shriven” meaning to go to confession to say sorry for the wrong things you've done. Lent always starts on a Wednesday, so people went to confessions on the day before.
The other name for this day, Pancake Day, comes from the old English custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before Lent, so that people were ready to fast during Lent.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. It is also the first spiritual tradition. We are marked with ashes on the forehead in the shape of the cross reminding us of the one to whom our full allegiance is given. The ashes also remind us of humility and are a visual reminder of the vast difference between creatures and their creator, and symbolize the need for repentance and a change of heart.
All these observances cause us to remember Jesus in our everyday life. Have a blessed Lenten journey.