The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on the 14th February 2024
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday – 14th February 2024. Bradford Cathedral will be marking this with a service of Choral Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes at 7pm, a service which is in addition to the two regular said services on the Wednesday morning at 8:15am and 10:15am. All are welcome at these services.
The Riding Lights Theatre Company will also be bringing the revival of their acclaimed Passion Play – The Narrow Road by Paul Birch – to the Cathedral.
The Passion Play – a dramatic recreation of the final days of Jesus Christ – will be performed on Wednesday 28th February at 7:30pm, with tickets available now from Ticket Source or via the Bradford Cathedral website.
Other special events at Bradford Cathedral this Lent include a retreat morning with Bishop Toby on Saturday 17th February at 10am; the World Day of Prayer service on Friday 1st March at 2pm; and a Prayer Vigil for International Peace – also on the World Day of Prayer – at 6pm.
About Ash Wednesday
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. The length of Lent reflects Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, and is a time of study and devotion for Christians. Many Christians today use Lent as an opportunity to focus on an aspect of discipleship, such as prayer, fasting, study or service. Historically, many new Christians also prepared throughout Lent for their baptism, and entry into the life of God’s Church, at Easter.
The Revd Pete Gunstone, Minor Canon for Worship and Nurture, says:
“Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, with an opportunity to embrace both our finitude and the mercy and power of God. We hope you can join us for our reflective worship at the start of Lent.”
Watch and Pray
The Church of England’s central theme for Lent this year is ‘Watch + Pray’.
“This Lent we are encouraged to wait expectantly for God to meet us and sustain us through the storms and trials we all face.
“The Church of England’s Lent theme for 2024 is Watch and Pray: Wisdom and hope for Lent and life.
“This Lent all of us are encouraged to draw on the wisdom of Black Spirituality, particularly the practice of “tarrying” (waiting) as a community to draw closer to Jesus and to each other.”
The Season of Lent
Alongside these extra services, the Cathedral’s regular pattern of worship continues. On Sundays these are the 8am Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer; the 10:30am Choral Eucharist; and the 3:30pm Choral Evensong.
Other opportunities to gather for prayer include Morning and Evening Prayer online at 9am and 5:30pm; Midday Prayer at 12noon; Choral Evensong on Mondays and Tuesdays at 5:30pm; and services of Holy Communion on Wednesdays at 8:15am and 10:15am. For further details, please see the Bradford Cathedral website.
The Very Revd Andy Bowerman, Dean of Bradford, says:
“We would be delighted to invite you to join us in drawing closer to Jesus and each other this season. You will be sure of a generous and warm welcome.”
Bradford Cathedral will also be holding services and events during Holy Week, which follows the season of Lent, with more information on these to follow.
For more information about the season of Lent please visit bradfordcathedral.org.uk/lent.