Random thoughts from Pencefn

…. an engineer, singer and photographer living in Scotland

Ash Wednesday 2014

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As we enter another Lent we think about the forty days in wilderness spent by Jesus. The hymn by G.H. Stephen written recalls the temptation, fasting and prayer that was endured.

Forty days and forty nights
Thou wast fasting in the wild;
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted, and yet undefiled.

Sunbeams scorching all the day;
Chilly dew-drops nightly shed;
Prowling beasts about Thy way;
Stones Thy pillow; earth Thy bed.

Should not we Thy watchings share
And from earthly joys abstain,
Fasting with unceasing prayer,
Glad with Thee to suffer pain?

And if Satan, vexing sore,
Flesh or spirit should assail,
Thou, his vanquisher before,
Grant we may not faint nor fall.

So shall we have peace divine:
Holier gladness ours shall be;
Round us, too, shall angels shine,
Such as ministered to Thee.

Keep, O keep us, Savior dear,
Ever constant by Thy side;
That with Thee we may appear
At the eternal Eastertide.

Written by G.H. Stephen, usually sung to the tune Aus Der Tiefe.

Ash Wednesday takes its name from the imposition of ashes onto the forehead. The ashes are made from the burning of the palm crosses from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. Whilst the priest marks the forehead he says the words Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return from the book of Genesis (Chapter 3; verse 19). These words come from the narrative following the temptation of man in the Garden of Eden leading to the expulsion from the garden.

Author: Stewart

An instrumentation engineer who enjoys photography and singing. Working in the West of Scotland; a member of St Mary's Cathedral Glasgow and Southwark Cathedral; and a volunteer guard/signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.

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