Years 3 to 6 participated in a Mass with Fr Valerian as presider and each teacher was invited to offer ashes to members of their class. The infants’ classes combined for a liturgy in the school library.
“Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. It represents the start of the church season of Lent. We endeavour to make the children aware of the church seasons - their colour, duration and importance,” said Assistant Principal, Terry Haddow.
For students of St John’s, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of a related unit around the Lenten theme that continues for the 40 days of Lent while preparing for Easter.
An important aspect is Project Compassion where each class examines the aspect of “giving” and how to do this in the modern world.
“It is a time we encourage the children to think of others, to engage in some form of self-sacrifice - whether it is giving some of their pocket money to the missions, cutting back on TV or video games or helping around the house. Something simple but achievable.
“The idea of self-sacrifice is linked to helping others, it is also a time of prayer. We use Jesus as our example, he spent this time fasting and in prayer.”