Many Grenadians are now in repentance and engaged in soul searching, as it is the Lenten season, according to Reverend Osbert James, Chairman of the Conference of Churches of Grenada (CCG).
Lent is a 40-day period of preparation for Easter Sunday and one of the major liturgical seasons of the Catholic Church.
A penitential season marked by prayer, fasting and abstinence, and almsgiving, Lent begins on either Ash Wednesday (for Latin Rite Catholics and those Protestants who observe Lent) or Clean Monday (for Eastern Rite Catholics and Eastern Orthodox) and ends on either Holy Thursday or Holy Saturday.
Rev. James told reporters that Lent usually begins on Ash Wednesday, which is 40 days before the Easter Sunday if you do not count the Sundays and 44 days before Good Friday if you count the Sundays.
He described Lent as a period when the church takes time to go into retreat to look at itself and its relationship with God.
He said the period is also used “to take time out to show that we are not as dependent on the material as we think we are but we need to focus more on the spiritual”.
The clergyman noted that this is the reason why during the period of Lent the churches ask people to deny themselves of some things or to do something they have not done.
Rev. James also explained the significance of the ashes, which is usually welcomed by a large number of worshipers belonging to the Catholic and Anglican community.
“The ashes … are a symbol of sorrow, penitence but also symbolises that fact that we are mere material and that without God, we are nothing. So when we recognise that we are frail human beings in the presence of God then we should take time now to acknowledge God”, he said.
“So we call on people to retreat to make self-examinations so that we can look at ourselves as God actually sees us and as a result of that to be penitent. As we look at our lives and how we have moved away from God, using this Lenten period to first of all say to God we’re sorry and then do things that we can to make amends”, he added.
According to Rev. James, the period of Lent is also one to engage in some form of charity.
“We ask Grenadians very much to be inward looking but also from that inward looking outwardly to do acts of charity,” he said.