In the middle of our busy school week, we paused as a community to observe Ash Wednesday together, to prepare ourselves for the time of Jesus’ passion and resurrection as we journeyed in the Christian tradition through a season of penitence and fasting towards the events of Holy Week and Easter.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday and placing them on the heads of participants to the accompaniment of the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We received the ashes as a reminder of the simpleness of life, and the cross marked on our foreheads reminded us that we are not perfect and that we all get things wrong. Throughout the service we held these thoughts in mind:
- What do I hope to do during Lent this year?
- How can I make a difference to those around me?
- What can I do for those less fortunate than me?
Stations of the Cross are commonly used as a mini-pilgrimage or meditation during Holy Week to help us reflect on Jesus’ last days from his condemnation through to the crucifixion. As a whole school community we created our own Stations of the Cross for Lent week at the end term, using posters from Illustrated Ministry. Each year group worked on a particular station, with the colouring in itself acting as a prayerful contemplation on each station. They were mounted in the corridor with activities, questions and interactive reflections to consider whilst walking along the stations:
SORROW /Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane /Matthew 26:36–41
BETRAYAL /Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested /Mark 14:43–46
CONDEMNATION /Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin /Luke 22:66-71
DENIAL /Jesus is Denied by Peter /Matthew 26:69–75
JUDGMENT /Jesus is Judged by Pilate /Mark 15:1–5, 15
CROWNING /Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns /John 19:1–3
BEARING /Jesus Bears the Cross /John 19:6, 15–17
HELPING /Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross /Mark 15:21
BLESSING /Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem /Luke 23:27-31
CRUCIFIXION /Jesus is Crucified /Luke 23:33–34
PROMISE /Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief /Luke 23:39–43
CARE /Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple /John 19:25–27
DARKNESS /Jesus Dies on the Cross /Luke 23:44-46
BURIAL /Jesus is Placed in the Tomb /Matthew 27:57-60
NEW LIFE and A NEW BEGINNING /The Resurrection of Jesus /Mark 16:1-6
Juniors walking the Stations of the Cross and doing the reflective activities for their Chapel lesson: