Since early days Christians have observed with great devotion the time of our Lord's
passion and resurrection. It became the custom of the Church to prepare for this
by a season of penitence and fasting. At first this season of Lent was observed
by those who were preparing for Baptism at Easter and by those who were to be restored
to the Church's fellowship from which they had been separated through sin. In course
of time the Church came to recognize that, by a careful keeping of these days, all
Christians might take to heart the call to repentance and the assurance of forgiveness
proclaimed in the gospel, and so grow in faith and in devotion to our Lord.
You are invited, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy
Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and
by reading and meditating on God's holy word.
Use this prayer each day of Lent
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made and forgive the
sins of all those who are penitent: create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may receive
from you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus
Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Rev’d Canon Stuart Ansell