Bradford Cathedral to mark the season of Lent with an Ash Wednesday service and weekly study course

The service on Wednesday 2nd March and the four-week Lent course will be accessible both in-person and online

Ashes being created in the grounds of Bradford Cathedral

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday – 2nd March 2022 – and Bradford Cathedral will be marking this with an Ash Wednesday Eucharist at 7pm, in addition to their two regular services on the Wednesday morning at 8:15am and 10:15am.

You are invited to join the services in person, or join the evening 7pm service online via the Cathedral’s YouTube page.

The name ‘Ash Wednesday’ comes from the use of ashes on this day, which are an ancient sign of penitence. From the Middle Ages it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross.

Lent is the 40-day period that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. The length of Lent reflects Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, and is a time of study and devotion for Christians. Many Christians today will take on extra works of charity, helping and supporting others as part of their Lenten “fast”.

Lent also emerged in Christian history as a time of study and devotion. Historically, many new Christians also prepared throughout Lent for their baptism, and entry into the life of God’s Church, at Easter.

The Revd Canon Paul Maybury, Acting Dean of Bradford, says:
“We look forward to the annual season of Lent as a time of growth and transformation. Jesus was ‘led by the Spirit’ into the desert and confronted his own doubts and fears. He then came out of the desert and began his ministry with clarity and focus. I hope that you will join me, both on Ash Wednesday and at the four-week sessions, to grow in faith, understanding and commitment to God’s work in this world.”

Bradford Cathedral will also be holding a four-week Lent course on Tuesday evenings from 7pm, starting on the 8th March and continuing, after a one-week gap, on the 22nd and 29th March and the 5th April.

Each course day will focus on a different “miniature”- a parable or account from each of the four Gospels.  The session will then end with Compline (Night Prayer).

The Revd Canon Philip Gray, Acting Precentor, says:
“Each evening will begin with a reading of the Gospel account, with time to reflect on and discuss both the Gospel text and the art offered, with questions and discussion.

“By looking closely at each Gospel account alongside a piece of art inspired by the story, we hope to find insight into the person and life of Jesus.”

The Cathedral’s regular Sunday services also continue during the period of Lent, including the 10:30am Eucharist, which takes place within the Cathedral and is also streamed live. Bradford Cathedral will be welcoming two guest preachers during the season: The Revd Henriette Howarth will preach at the Mothering Sunday service on the 27th March, and Phil Stone, Director of the Scargill Movement, will preach on the 3rd April.

The Cathedral has also made available online resources for teachers, parents and carers, accessible on its website, alongside videos, both for the season of Lent and Shrove Tuesday, which takes place the day before Ash Wednesday. Bradford Cathedral will be marking this day with pancake races with the choir.

For more information about the season of Lent including the services, Lent Course, and school resources, please visit bradfordcathedral.org/worship/lent

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