A Year in Gothenburg – February

17 Burning Palm Crosses to Make Ash . . .

Only three crosses were returned on Sunday in response to my request, but we shall have to order more this year anyway, so I took another four. My method, which seems to work well enough, is to hold one cross at a time by the top loop over a lighted candle until there is enough ash to knock off, then knock it into a metal sieve held over a saucepan.  Repeat until everything except the top has burned, and use the top to try to push the ash through the sieve, removing bits of unburned palm.  When all the crosses had been burned in this way, I used a pestle to force more ash through the sieve, and then transferred it from the saucepan to a pillbox with a teaspoon.

18 . . . and using it . . .

I put a small amount of consecrated oil in the bottom of a glass bowl, added about a quarter of the ash for Wednesday night’s congregation, and stirred with a plastic spoon to make the ash sticky.  Plenty for 20 people, so the rest should be enough for Sunday.

21 A new priest in Copenhagen

Travelled to Copenhagen for the licensing of the new chaplain, Darren McCallig, and took advantage of being there to have a meeting of the Standing Committee of Diocesan Synod.

22 . . . with a little left over.

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return.
Turn away from sin, and be faithful to Christ.”

An unusually small congregation for the First Sunday of Lent.  I put the leftover ash in the aumbry; it may still be usable next year.

Prayer meeting at the synagogue

Rabbi Hillel had invited religious leaders to join in an act of remembrance for two men shot in Copenhagen last weekend, one of them a synagogue caretaker who was known to some of the Gothenburg congregation.  A moving service with good use of psalms of lament.



28 Wedding

The bride’s grandparents, Ashok and Nilima Sen, had been leading members of the congregation, and her parents, Håkan and Rekha Jerdén, were married in St Andrew’s.  Nathalie continues the family tradition.