Following the relaunch of the ARK BUS last Sunday- our two converted camper vans the journey towards Easter continues today with the Ark Bus Team in Broadmead Shopping Centre, Bristol. The team are launching the Circuit 5th Easter Trail. Come along and meet the team, find 38 Zebras that have been decorated by local schools and hidden in shop windows. Download a trail map below or call in to the New Room and collect one.
DOWNLOAD A TRAIL MAP: HERE
Did you know that each Zebra strip is unique? As individual as our fingerprints. During Lent the Ark Team have been sharing the story “You are Special” with each school and that we are uniquely made and loved and valued by God.
The trail runs from Saturday 26th March – Sunday 10th April.
Following a stay at Ammerdown Retreat Centre, near Radstock a couple of weekends ago, I was reminded that they installed a Labyrinth into the grounds a few years ago as an aid to prayer and meditation.
In the Christian Middle Ages, labyrinths were often formed with coloured tiles in the floors of cathedral naves, especially in the great medieval Cathedrals on the Continent. They became a substitute for going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem which was beyond the reach of many.The most famous medieval labyrinth, with great influence on later practice, was created in Charters Cathedral near Paris, France.
In recent years Labyrinths have undergone a revival as a tool to use in contemplative prayer and meditation. Labyrinths are often confused with mazes, whilst mazes have dead ends and blind alleys, the labyrinth has only one path leading both in and out of the centre. The labyrinth is flat. One can always see the centre. The path is fixed, so that the mind can be still and attentive. Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives us insight into our spiritual journeys. The labyrinth does nothing on its own. It is simply a tool helpful for many people in deepening their prayer lives.
I have included some resources about Labyrinths, especially Finger Labyrinths, that we used at our Circuit Staff meeting last week. More resources can be found on the web (check out Pilgrim Paths), but I offer these as resources that can be used at any time of the year, but especially as we continue our journey through Holy Week.
To Download a finger Labyrinth click: HERE
Walking the Labyrinth for Lent click: HERE
Walking in the way of Love- Labyrinth click: HERE
Walking in the way of Psalm 23 – Labyrinth Click: HERE
Labyrinth General Information Sheet Click: HERE
More information relating to Labyrinths will be posted during the coming year.
As Lent draws to a close, today we celebrate Palm Sunday which marks the beginning of Holy Week. The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, where he rode into town on a donkey colt as crowds of people joyfully greeted him and spread out palm branches in his path.
Palm branches are a widely recognised symbol of peace and victory, and in Biblical times were often thrown before the feet of a conquering hero in homage. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the Gospel writers said the crowds threw palm branches and clothes at his feet to honour him. It had been predicted in the Old Testament that people would recognise the Messiah when he rode into the city, and they would then lay palms at his feet. Today many churches give out Palm Crosses to their congregations. Historically these are kept until Ash Wednesday the following year, brought back to church and burn, the ash is then used as part of the “Ashing” ceremonies.
Download Palm Sunday Prayers for ideas of how to pray using Palm Crosses both in church but also as private meditation. Liturgy for the burning of Palms click: HERE
Other useful Booklets for Holy Week:
- Holy Week Meditations
- acts_easter_2014 (1)
Watch out this week for more useful material.