Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday, 2011: Smudge on My Forehead, Chaplet Started

Today is Ash Wednesday: the first day of Lent, 2011. I went to Mass with my wife and #3 daughter. My son and #1 daughter, who's here on a visit, weren't feeling well enough to go. Which is okay, by the way. (February 6, 2011)

I picked up what I call 'the chaplet,' as I have for several Lenten seasons now. It's a crucifix on a knotted cord, to be work around the neck. The knots are in seven clusters of three each: to help me keep track as I pray by saying the Apostle's Creed each day, followed by an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be - seven times.

Nothing 'magic' about that: and it's too late in the evening for me to start writing about prayer, meditation, and all that.

Crucifixes and knotted cords for the Lenten Chaplet at Our Lady of the Angels in Sauk Centre. March 9, 2011.

Unless you live in one part of Venezuela, or where I live here in central Minnesota, you probably haven't run into this particular chaplet. Fr. Todd and Fr. Statz, priests now living here in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, were missionaries in Venezuela when they developed this chaplet as a way to encourage prayer during Lent.

There's more to the story, but like I said: it's getting late.

Folks living in Venezuela made the first crucifix-and-cord arrangements from wood from local trees for the crucifix - and fiber from leaves of the same tree for the cord. Folks prayed the chaplets in Venezuela, and later here in Brooten and other towns here in central Minnesota: after Fr. Todd and Fr. Statz came here.

There's a card, outlining how to pray the chaplet. March 9, 2011.

That's me with ashes on my forehead, at Our Lady of the Angels in Sauk Centre. March 9, 2011.

About those ashes on my forehead?
"...At Mass on Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes replicates an ancient penitential practice and symbolizes our dependence upon God's mercy and forgiveness...."
("The 2011 Lenten Season," United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
In this part of the world, we get our foreheads marked with a cross of ashes. Other places, ashes get sprinkled over the heads of Catholics. I've written about being part of a Church that's literally universal before. (August 26, 2010, April 19, 2010, and elsewhere)

That's it for tonight. It's late, and I need sleep.

May God bless.

Somewhat-related posts:


Abbey said...

How lovely are the chaplets! So wish I had one, but I can still say the prayers! Wishing you a very blessed Lenten journey.

Abbey ♥

Brian Gill said...

And the same to you!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible for you to send me a photo of the chaplet? That way, my church can make them too.

Brian Gill said...

Anonymous of March 17, 2011 8:59 PM,

Feel free to copy the (rather low-resolution) photo in this post, as a reference. In my opinion, you're better off making your own card, using the text in this post as a guide.

I'll see what I can do, about providing a better look at the knotted cord and crucifix we use.

And, thanks for your interest!

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