Yesterday it was Ash Wednesday. I had to be in town for a case. There is a tiny wee chapel: the Holy Cross Chapel, in the very center of town, about a minute away from the Christchurch Cathedral: the . At around 12.15 a service started to commemorate Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lent.
When I passed by it was amazing to see how this tiny chapel was so packed with people giving up their lunch breaks to go and attend the service. The chapel was filled and so was the hall of the chapel, people were siting on the floor: homeless next to lawyer and doctor, all praying the same prayer of Matthew 6:9-13:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one
for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
It was so amazing witnessing this community spirit. For the first time in my life, this prayer, which I grew up with but always felt as a bit of ritual gave me goose bumps. Right in the middle of town people from the most extreme walks of life joined together in this prayer, it was beautiful and touching. It gave a sense of hope and joy to see that in this little lunch break people could forget their differences if only for the time of the service and be united in the same cause. It is at those moments you realize how much we are all in all together.