Ash Wednesday - 17th February

Lent: ‘Lengten” Anglo-Saxon ’lengthen’, used for Spring.
Lent is the Christian season of spiritual preparation before Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday, a day when many Christians attend a religious service where the priest uses ash to mark the sign of the cross on their foreheads as a symbol of penitence - an echo of a public show of penance from the early church in Rome. The forty days of Lent was originally the final preparation for those being baptised at Easter and many Christians observe a period of self-examination and reflection on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which can include repentance, self-denial and fasting. They often give up something they enjoy, or take on a Lenten discipline, like spending more time reading the bible and in prayer to draw nearer to God.

We all have many things we regret and you may like to use this prayer to begin your Lent.

Merciful God,
for the things we have done that we regret,
forgive us;

for the things we have failed to do that we regret,
forgive us;

for all the times we have acted without love,
forgive us;

for all the times we have acted without thought,
forgive us;

for all the times we have withdrawn support,
forgive us;

for all the times we have failed to forgive,
forgive us.

For hurtful words said and helpful words unsaid,
for unfinished tasks and unrealised dreams,
God of all time
forgive us
and help us 
to lay down
our burden of regret.