Changing Times

Christians put less store by the seasons of the Anglican calendar. Advent has got squeezed by Christmas. Christmas is effectively over on Boxing Day. Holy Week is an insignificant prelude to the really important event—Easter Day. As a result, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and even Good Friday do not get our full attention.

Lent is a time of reflection not celebration. It is when we think about the heart. We aim to align our lives with the pattern set for us by Jesus Christ. It is also a time when we enter into the darkest days of Jesus’ life. The really black ones just before his death.

Holy Week matters. It seems to me to be a tragedy when Christians skip over these most bitter days of our Lord’s life. To go straight from the cheering crowds of Palm Sunday to the cheering disciples of Easter Day is to miss a vital part of the story. We can always celebrate the light. But we can celebrate it so much more joyfully, if we have just come out of the darkness.

That’s part of the tradition of not having flowers in Lent. It is done to make a contrast between Lent and Easter. We look forward to a wonderful display of spring flowers once Good Friday is over and we celebrate the resurrection.

That being said, we are not ritualistic. As ever, there will be flowers next week because it is Mothering Sunday, and there will be flowers at May’s Thanksgiving on Thursday.