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Dear Friends                                            

The date of Easter is determined by the phases of the moon. Easter Day is always the Sunday following the paschal full moon date - 20 March. Thus Easter can begin any date between March 21 to April 25.

This year, Easter is regarded as “late”, falling as it does on 21 April. Lent therefore begins on Wednesday 6 March – forty days before Easter, excluding Sundays.

Ash Wednesday is so called because of the tradition in the ancient world of “sitting in sackcloth and ashes” as a sign of sorrow and repentance. According to the book of Jonah when the prophet preached to the people of Nineveh that they should turn from their wicked ways, the population responded by donning sackcloth and ashes.

On Ash Wednesday churches use ash – often gathered from the burning of the previous year’s palm crosses – to make the sign of the cross on people’s foreheads.  The words “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ” are used in the liturgy.

An important principle in the Lent season is that of repentance. For Christians this means not merely saying sorry for our sins but turning away from our wrongdoing and moving in a different direction.

This Lenten prayer sums up the essence of this important part of the Church Year.

Lord our God, grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart; that so desiring, we may see and find you; and so finding, may love you;  and so loving, may hate those sins from which you have delivered us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen 

May God guide and bless us as we seek to have a holy Lent in preparation for a joyful celebration of Easter.  


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