Osbaldwick and Murton Parish Link
February 2015 - Joyful Purification
We’ve had the jollies; hope you all enjoyed the festive season, we are now checking the lolly: at least the bills are in and, starting in February we are invited to check our follies: those things we get wrong in our lives. From serious joy to serious reflection in just two months seems a bit harsh. But did you know that February was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification? On the 15th day of Februarius the Romans performed purification rituals to ensure a fruitful coming season.
Briefly it had four parts: the Calling, invitation to the people; the Procession, a coming together; the ritual Cleansing and then the Requesting of the Gods’ attention to make life fruitful. In all of this there was celebration, and not any mournful overtures so often associated with the Lenten period, upon which we are about to embark. It is a time to discover a proper perspective between the joy of life, the serious business upon which life must be built and from where we will obtain the balance.
But note that the success factor was in inviting the Divine to be intimately involved at the very centre of all that we do. St Paul wrote this, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he (God) may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith”. That is what the purification ritual of Lent is all about; a time to discover the riches of God in order to make our lives as fruitful as possible.
A Joyous Lenten blessing to us all.