Our 2016 Lent course uses the film “The Theory of Everything”, the multi-award winning film about Stephen Hawking, as its starting point. Written Hilary Brand, the course explores ways in which the mysteries of the universe and of everyday life - and the acceptance that we have more questions than answers - can reinvigorate our faith and spiritual journey.........
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Lent may originally have followed Epiphany, just as Jesus’ sojourn in the wilderness followed immediately on his baptism, but it soon became firmly attached to Easter, as the principal occasion for baptism and for the reconciliation of those who had been excluded from the Church’s fellowship for apostasy or serious faults. This history explains the characteristic notes of Lent – self-examination, penitence, self-denial, study, and preparation for Easter, to which almsgiving has traditionally been added.
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Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts: the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It's a day of penitence, to clean the soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before Lent begins. Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were "shriven" (absolved from their sins).
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Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent for Western Christian churches. It's a day of penitence to clean the soul before the Lent fast. At some services in the Anglican, Roman Catholic (and some other churches), worshippers are marked with ashes as a symbol of death and sorrow for sin.
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Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, so when the crosses used in the Palm Sunday service are converted to ashes, the worshippers are reminded that defeat and crucifixion swiftly followed triumph. But using the ashes to mark the cross on the believer's forehead symbolises..........
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Maundy Thursday is observed during Holy Week on the Thursday before Easter. Also referred to as "Holy Thursday" or "Great Thursday" in some Christian denominations, Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper when Jesus shared the Passover meal with his disciples on the night before he was crucified.
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Easter Saturday is the final day of Lent, of Holy Week, and of the Easter Triduum, the three days Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. The day is also known as the Easter Vigil, a name more properly applied to the Mass on Easter Saturday night, has had a long and varied history.
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Easter Sunday, celebrating Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, is Christianity's most important day. On this greatest day of the Christian year, all fasting and sombre thoughts are banished.
The exact origins of Easter as the name for this time are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts........
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In various Christian churches, but not by all means all, a paschal candle is lit. But what does it signify?
The most likely origin is that it derived from the Lucernarium, the evening office with which early Christians began the vigil for every Sunday and especially that of Easter.
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The custom of giving eggs at Easter celebrates new life. Christians remember that Jesus, after dying on the cross, rose from the dead. This miracle showed that life could win over death. When Easter was first celebrated, Christians adopted the egg symbol with the broken shell of the egg compared to the opening of Jesus’ tomb during his resurrection.
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