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Hallo again to all.

Ash WednesdayIt is Quinquagesima, the Sunday next before Lent, the last Sunday of Epiphany, the mark of something like fifty days between today and Easter. In the Prayer Book lectionary, it was and is the day of the Gospel of the blind beggar of Jericho receiving sight. Today we have said our last Sunday alleluias for a while.

Over the years, we've observed a multiplicity of spiritual inclinations toward liturgical seasons, corresponding in their ways with personality types. We all know persons who are Easter people or Christmas people, with one feast lining up in some dominant way with their attitudes toward life throughout the year.

There are also those among us who live more in the preparatory seasons: the folks who long for Advent and are sad when it's over, and the ones who wish Lent would never end. (We've still yet to meet someone who longs for the stretched out green months of Trinitytide.) We cling to the wreaths and the Stations of the Cross, the pancakes, the hymns we sing at no other times, the extra services, the parish quiet days, the feeling of interstitiality. There is for some of us a thrill in the wait.

With our faces now pointed to Easter, if only over the long bridge of Lent, we're thinking about how to spend the season as one with its own value, rather than as one that exists only in the service of its successor. George Herbert invites us 'to go part of that religious way' toward 'Christ's fortieth day,' but he also calls out 'welcome dear feast of Lent'. What is it to feast on Lent, as Herbert might have done?

The final stanzas of the rector of Bemerton's Ash Wednesday poem tell us that it is by 'starving sin'. There is something wonderful in this: the idea that through positive action we can work to improve the health of our souls—and so our families, our parishes, our larger communities. We maintain a list of things historical and new meant to serve as guides in this annual process, but we're always interested in learning about new ones. How are you feasting on Lent?

See you again next week.

Our Signatures

Richard Mammana

All of us at Anglicans Online

26 February 2017

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