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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Lent and Easter 2021 issue

From the Vicar, Fr Dr Colin Lawlor

On 17th February, which was Ash Wednesday, we entered the season of Lent, a penitential season to prepare us for the great Christian Feast of Easter, when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord from the dead.

In many ways Lent is a sombre season, and this is often reflected in the readings at the Eucharist day by day. We are called upon to reflect upon our own sinfulness and seek God’s forgiveness:

‘What better can we do … than prostrate fall
Before him reverent and there confess
Humbly our faults and pardon beg, with tears
Watering the ground’
wrote John Milton in his epic 17th century poem
Paradise Lost.

But Lent is so much more than a season in which to be gloomy and mournful, and the clue to this comes in the very word itself. Lent derives from the Old English word Lencten the meaning of which is ‘Spring Season’. We think of spring as a season of hope and of new life. Already we are beginning to see spring flowers, we can hear the glorious sound of birdsong (not quite the full-blown spring chorus yet, but that will come soon). And the overriding message of Lent is that given in the words of Christ which we heard as our Gospel reading on the first Sunday of Lent:

‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near, repent and believe in the Good News.’ (Mark 1:15).

Lent then is a time to reflect on our past failings and then repent, turning back to Christ, in joyful expectation of the good news. And, let’s be honest, we need a bit of joy in our lives right now.

It is almost a year since the first lockdown and I sense that the Pandemic has left us exhausted and perhaps gloomy. But this Lent (this ‘spring season’) brings with it the hope that the end is near, things are beginning to open up, the vaccine is helping keep people safe, there is the possibility that things will soon get back to a semblance of normality. Sadly, we won’t be completely out of lockdown by Easter. Unlike last year we will be able to walk with Christ through Holy Week and celebrate the Feast of Easter in Church. There will be some things that we would normally do, but can’t, such as the procession through town on Palm Sunday. Processions inside and out are currently prohibited. But be assured at St George’s we will make as much of the occasion as we can, both physically in church and online,  as we look forward in joyful expectation to the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection.

With love and prayers

Fr Colin