Sunday, 14 February 2010

Clean Monday, kite flying, bright sadness and a different entry point into Lent

Tomorrow is Clean Monday for Orthodox Christians and marks the beginning of Lent. Writing in the Guardian Aaron Taylor says how the Orthodox spiritual approach to Lenten observance is one of "bright sadness". He ends his article:

As long as there is evil in the world, we can be sure that some of it still lies hidden in our hearts. And as long as we are able to shed tears over our condition, there remains hope that we will one day see the glorious day of resurrection.
I've also been interested to learn that on Clean Monday there is a tradition of flying kites. I haven't quite managed to find out why, there seems again to be some link to the aspect of joy, kites do reach up to heaven in some way. fasting is not supposed to make up feel surly and grumpy but make us look for higher things.