Sunday, 17 February 2013

Pause In Lent 2013 #1

A Pause in Lent Floss

I have been thinking about this poem by Herrick. Written at a time when it was usual to give up meat and instead eat fish during Lent – and Herrick points out that filling ‘the platter high’ rather defeats the object. True keeping of Lent is about the heart and not the belly!

"To Keep A True Lent"
Is this a Fast, to keep
The larder lean?
And clean
From fat of veals and sheep?
Is it to quit the dish
Of flesh, yet still
To fill
The platter high with fish?
Is it to fast an hour,
Or ragg'd to go,
Or show
A down-cast look and sour?
No: 'tis a Fast to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat
And meat
Unto the hungry soul,
It is to fast from strife
And old debate,
And hate;
To circumcise thy life.
To show a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin;
And that's to keep thy Lent.


Robert Herrick (1591-1674).

Our local ‘Churches Together’ will be doing something a little different this year, on the Tuesday Evenings of Lent. I will say more about that when it happens!


  1. Thoughtful poem and one that sums up much of my own ponderings this lent, thanks for sharing.

  2. What a lovely poem- yes, totally sums up what Lent SHOULD be about!!x


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