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This collection begins on the Sunday before Lent. Lent is itself a season of preparation, but even preparation can benefit from preparation. Shrove Tuesday is the focus of this, and can helpfully take the form of a day of clearing out and carnival. It begins on a Sunday, partly to honour the resurrection from the start. After all, every Sunday is a little Easter, and Lent is not about forgetting the resurrection. Far from it: without knowing that Lent is a journey to resurrection, Lent can become a sad and sorry time. And in parallel with that my intention is to let love have the first word. The traditional collect for the Sunday Before Lent focuses on the necessity of charity in the Christian journey, echoing the famous passage in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: without love, ‘I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol’ (1 Corinthians 13.1). The idea is that love provides the prism through which the whole Lenten journey is seen and imagined...

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