Students encouraged to make Lenten promises in Prep and Senior School assemblies.
To mark such a special day in the Christian calendar, both the Senior and the Prep School held Ash Wednesday services in the school chapel today.
Talking to Senior students, Mrs Holmes began her service by recounting the tale of Leonardo da Vinci painting The Last Supper. He chose a chorister as the model for the face of Jesus. Seven years later, he found someone who had led a life of wrongdoing to represent Judas in the same picture. It transpired that this man had also been the face of Jesus; he had fallen from perfection to evil in the intervening years.
The story demonstrates how human life can go one way or another, Mrs Holmes said, pointing out that the start of Lent is a time for new beginnings, a time to make choices and changes to our lives. Fasting is a big theme in the run-up to Easter. However, she said, the word ‘fast’ means to refrain. ‘This time of year is about self-control in lots of ways. It’s not just about giving up chocolate. It’s also about changing our attitudes and thoughts.’
In the Prep School assembly, Mrs Darwin also encouraged students to make Lenten promises to make them become a better person. She asked students to smile at the person next to them. Invariably they received a smile in return until everyone in the Chapel was beaming. ‘Just like the ripples a pebble makes when it is thrown into a pond, think about how very small actions can have a ripple effect and make a big difference,’ she said.
The girls received paper fish on which they will write their Lenten promises for classroom displays. All students in the school were also invited to receive a cross on their forehead made from the ashes of palm leaves.