Next week our College community will gather to celebrate Ash Wednesday, the formal start to the Christian liturgical season of Lent. In 2016, Pope Francis tweeted: “Lent is a time for reconsidering our feelings, for letting our eyes be opened to injustice, to open our hearts to those suffering.” As a symbol of this ‘change of heart’, the community will have their foreheads marked with ashes. Ashes hold important meaning across a range of religious traditions. When these communities recognised the need to turn around, reflect and take a different path they would sit or cover themselves in ashes as a symbolic starting again. The classic story of Cinderella takes up this theme – Cinderella means ‘the girl who sits in the cinders”, and before she is recognised as the beautiful person she is Cinderella works in the ashes of the kitchen fireplace, while this silent change took place within her.
To build on this theme, our Ash Wednesday liturgy will introduce eight stones which symbolise those attitudes that all of us as humans are called to challenge:
May the stone of hatred become love
May the stone of despair become hope
May the stone of gossip become respect
May the stone of greed become generosity
May the stone of indifference become hospitality
May the stone of arrogance become openness
May the stone of fear become courage
May the stone of doubt become faith.
Each of the House Captains will place these at the foot of the cross during the liturgy, and we will display these eight stones in the Chapel as a visual reminder for our community of the meaning behind the season of Lent.
Mr Josh Vujcich
Director – Identity, Mission and Service