Following from yesterday's highbrow cultural post...
Prior to my life in the halls of academe, I used to run a cute wee bookshop/resource centre. It was a place where the liturgical seasons of the year would get very mixed up when it came to placing orders and selling stuff. Customers would breathlessly ask me in September about forthcoming Lent materials when we had not even quite got the Advent stuff out. This was a small bone of contention and minor stress creator, as not even publishers had produced the stuff at that point of the year... understandably. And of course, I understood from customer perspective, that there were folk who were just keen to get organised for ecumenical /house / study groups, but...!!
And why has this come to mind...?
Well the Lenten time is coming 'round again [whip crack-away, whip crack-away, whip crack-away?] and I remember a certain day [gosh, in 2003, time flies] in said bookshop when the Lent display was due to be created. Gleefully I gathered all the 'props' and boxes of books. Unpacking a relentless stream of penitential paperback after penitential paperback began to tell on my psyche. In a moment of rebellion I balanced the books on a knee, looked at my colleague Linda and exclaimed 'oh for goodness sake... what we need is a little Lenten praise!'
Grinning, we spent the next several hours, in between other duties of course, composing a Lent praise song. It is quite 'Anglo-Cath' in flavour... I suspect I'll come back one day and write a Reformed version.
Mother Ruth, having unwisely invited me to come to her then 2 churches to preach on the 1st Sunday of Lent, got to hear the finished product... twice. It seemed a 'suitable' introduction to the sermon. It was also inflicted upon a poor, unsuspecting congregation in the States by an online lectionary collegue, who reported back in glee that the congregation were somewhat stunned. He chose to sing it... I, at least did not inflict the added punishment on Ruth's congregations by warbling it!!
And so, in this run up to Lent, I thought I'd inflict it upon blog readers and give it another airing.
[based on the tune 'My Favourite Things']
A Few of our Lenten Things
Sackcloth and ashes and psalms penitential,
Bowing and scraping, looking deferential,
Ashes on foreheads, repenting of sins -
These are a few of our Lenten things.
Downcast expressions and copious masses,
Beating of breasts and whipping of lashes,
No chocolate, no fun, no drinking of gin -
These are a few of our Lenten things...
When the sun shines,
When our hearts sing,
When we're feeling glad,
We simply remember our Lenten things
And then we feel... quite bad.
c. Nikki Macdonald 2003 [with a little help from a 'Frosty' friend]