Welcome

Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday

If you are a Christian, today, Ash Wednesday, is a special day, marking the beginning of Lent, a time that recalls Jesus' wanderings in the desert, and last 40 days. It prepares us for the celebration of his death and resurrection, which culminates at Easter. In Jamaica, Ash Wednesday is traditionally a holiday (see Gleaner report). No such modern tradition in Barbados. Traditionally, we visit church to receive ashes--my wife went to Mass at 6.30am; I will receive them later. Concerning the wearing of ashes, I hold onto the words of my former Pastor in Washngton, DC (Dr. Frank Wade): "Do what makes you feel most uncomfortable; wear them or wash them off."

Traditionally, people give up something for Lent, fast and pray a lot. In recent years we have tended to make Lent positive, by taking on a challenge. I should have thought about it earlier but I have not yet decided what my challenge will be this year, though I may just run with the idea that I will get my father to walk all the way around my house without assistance as appropriate (he will have left by end-month so I have fewer than 40 days). It is also a good time for reflection. That is also fitting, given the sudden death of a good friend, Ed Casselle (a former US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa).

Like New Year's resolutions, I think grand proposals for Lent usually fall by the wayside. So, no grand proposals, just a simple intention to do the things I say I will.

Have a blessed day.

1 comment:

Esteban Agosto Reid said...

Nice piece on Lent and Ash Wednesday!Have a blessed day! Also,Happy Birthday to Buffalo Soldier,The Honourable Robert Nesta Marley,O.M.Jamaica.NUFF RESPECT!!