The journey to Easter and the beginning of the holy season began yesterday with the application of ashes to the foreheads of the faithful, and with Father Scott Brennen reminding worshippers that every year at the time of the Christian Passover it’s a celebration of their redemption through the life and resurrection of Christ.
“Lent is a time to prepare for this celebration and to renew our life in the paschal mystery,” said Brennen during the Ash Wednesday service at St. George’s Anglican Church.
The paschal mystery is one of the central concepts of the Catholic faith relating to the history of salvation. Its main subject is the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – the work God the father sent his son to accomplish on earth.
“We begin this holy season by remembering our need for repentance, and for the mercy, forgiveness and grace proclaimed in the gospel of our savior Jesus Christ. We begin our journey to Easter with the sign of ashes, an ancient sign, speaking of the frailty and uncertainty of life, and marking the penitence of the community as a whole.”
The priest encouraged Anglicans to ask God their father to bless the ashes to become a symbol of their intention.
“They have been made from the palms which we greeted Christ our king with joy last Palm Sunday. They are a sign that we intend to prepare ourselves with penitence for Easter. Grant that they may remind us of our mortality and of our need for repentance so that we may keep Lent faithfully in our preparation for the victory and joy of Easter.”
The most important reason to practice Lent is to draw near to Jesus Christ and become like him. Lent is a season of intentional discipleship under Christ and with Christ. People also practice Lent to bond more closely with fellow Christians who are on the same journey, not only in the local church, but also around the world. Along the way, sin and enslaving habits are put to death, and people learn to internalize and share in Christ’s resurrection power.
With the advent of Lent, Anglicans also went into their Lenten Missions which will be held under the theme “Becoming a Better Disciple for Jesus”. Missioners for the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands Lenten Missions include Bishop Harold Daniel, Bishop Philip Wright and the Reverend Dr. Kortright Davis.
Daniel, the retired suffragan bishop of Mandeville, Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, will speak at the Grand Bahama Mission, through Friday at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Pinder’s Point. All services are 7 p.m. nightly, with the exception of Sunday at 5 p.m.
Davis, a professor of theology at Howard University, School of Divinity, who is also the rector emeritus of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, both in Washington D.C., will speak at the New Providence Mission, March 10-13 at the St. John’s College Auditorium, Stapledon Gardens. All sessions are 7 p.m. nightly.
Wright, the bishop of the Diocese of Belize and Central America, will speak at the Grand Turk and Providenciales Missions, March 17-19 at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, and March 20-22 at St. Monica’s Church respectively. All sessions are 7 p.m. nightly.
Lent, which began on Wednesday, March 6 and ends on Thursday, April 18 – is a 40-day period of Christ-centered devotion between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
The respective missions will provide Anglicans the opportunity to be blessed and inspired by the fellowship, singing and teaching.
Grand Bahamians will hear from Daniel, who for the last few decades has been the leading voice in the areas of evangelism and mission in the Anglican Church in the Caribbean. He has spoken, taught and written widely in the two areas and has worked not just in his diocese, but across the province and the wider Anglican Communion.
He is also a proponent and practitioner in the healing ministry as the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman islands has a strong and well-established Annual Healing Conference which Daniel has chaired since 2003. He has sought to raise awareness, in his local diocese in the Province of the West Indies and beyond, that the whole dimension of healing is a fundamental part of Christian life.
Davis has been an ardent supporter, resource person and commissary of the Caribbean for decades. He has been a strong voice for meaningful dialogue on theology and presenting Jesus and the gospel in today’s world. He has written many books and is a widely sought-after speaker and teacher, known for dynamic and insightful presentations that are always clear and inspiring.
In the Anglican Communion he has worked on the Anglican/Roman/Catholic International Commission, as a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the International Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission. He has been a champion of church teaching.
Wright has worked primarily as a parish priest in Belize. He has also been the head of the Anglican Theological Institute, a local training program for those interested in ministry, and he has been involved in many social and civic organizations and discussions.
He has been a strong voice for the presence and work of the church in the wider civil, economic and cultural landscape. He is a champion for the relevance the gospel retains in changing and challenging times. He is a plain-speaking powerful preacher and teacher, and is able to present the gospel in a way that all can receive and digest.
Missioner: The Rt. Rev’d. Harold Daniel, suffragan Bishop of Mandeville (retired), Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Date: March 6-8
Venue: Church of the Good Shepherd, Pinder’s Point
Time: 7 p.m. with the exception of Sunday at 5 p.m.
Missioner: The Rev’d. Dr. Kortright Davis, professor of theology, Howard University, School of Divinity, Washington, D.C.
Date: March 10-13
Venue: St. John’s College Auditorium, Stapledon Gardens
Time: 7 p.m.
Turks and Caicos Islands
Missioner: The Rt. Rev’d. Philip Wright, bishop of the Diocese of Belize, Central America Grand Turk
Date: March 17-19
Venue: St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral
Time: 7 p.m.
Date: March 20-22
Venue: St. Monica’s Church
Time: 7 p.m.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.