What is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, and sees priests gather ashes from the previous Palm Sunday, and rub them on their congregants’ foreheads.
This ash is a symbol of death, and is made from burning special crosses made out of palm wood, which were used in church services from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.
What is Shrove Tuesday?
Shrove Tuesday, which will take place on 25 February this year, is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is marked by feasting and celebration.
Shrove Tuesday traditionally precedes the observance of the Lenten fast, and many people mark this day by making and eating pancakes, hence it being known by many as ‘Pancake Day’.
I find the Lent process very interesting because it involves sacrifice, reminding us of Christ on the cross. It involves waiting in anticipation for Easter to come.
Sacrifice is costly because it involves loss. It involves laying down something we enjoy for the sake of a greater good.
I like the concept of sacrifice because for me it is about the human condition and is an offering of goodness, one to another. It is a way of showing faith, or of giving something to someone else at cost to oneself; for example a parent giving a child food when they cannot afford to eat themselves.
Sacrifice has a hope that something good will come from it – an end in sight.
So today’s recipe for hope is to consider sacrifice and perhaps making one for someone else. There can be great joy in doing such a thing; it is a gift to another.