Monday, February 26, 2018

Celebrating Lent

Growing up I didn’t know very much about Lent, and it wasn’t part of my religious practice. But a few weeks ago, while talking with Father Fergus, currently a Franciscan Friar at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, he said that one of his favorite celebrations at the church takes place on the first Saturday of Lent. That got me thinking more about Lent and whether it was something that I should participate in.

After hours of research consulting a few websites and asking my friends on Facebook, I decided that it would be great to participate. One trusted friend told me that he has found his Easter to be much more meaningful as a result of Lent. A friend that I haven’t talked with in years shared that recently she has begun “doing a new good thing” for Lent instead of “stopping a bad thing.” I chose to go in this direction for Lent and have been having a good experience so far.

I also made arrangements to go with many other people, including Lani, five of our children, Scott and Karen Smith, and many BYU students. It was great to participate in the event, and much sweeter to be participating with so many people that I love and enjoy being with.

This was one of the first times I’ve heard the organ music playing. It was beautiful! The ceremony began with an entrance of the Bishop, who went into the holy sepulcher, and then into the chapel. Afterwards, there was a procession around the church where we essentially did the stations of the cross. Everybody received candles, and although the service was in Latin I was able to grasp bits and pieces. Altogether it was nearly two hours and our kids did great! Afterwards we all got to visit with Father Fergus and enjoyed doing that.

I think practicing Lent will become an ongoing part of my discipleship in the future!

Here's a video link to the procession if you're interested in watch more. The first couple minutes is of the initial entrance of the Bishop, towards the end is part of the stations of the cross while in chapel of Helena (I'd never seen it so bright), and the final part as we all walked around the aedicule. 

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