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Observing Ash Wednesday: The Beginning of Our Lenten Journey

February 29, 2020 | Jessica Smith

On February 26, students in chorus led the whole school in a Taizé service in observance of Ash Wednesday. This service marked the beginning of the season of Lent, the forty days before Easter. Students in chorus led all of grades K-8 in singing songs from the Taizé community, an interdenominational monastic community in France. As the students chanted the songs over and over, sung scripture verses and violin solos were woven among their singing. Chorus members also read scripture verses and prayers.

Before the Ash Wednesday Service, all students received a Lenten Reflection Journal to use in daily worship. At the end of the service, students marked their journal with ashes in the sign of the cross to remember both our mortality and the hope of salvation. During this season, students will hear readings from all four Gospels to walk through the life of Christ. In addition, they will see art to help them reflect.

The Lenten Journals offer the following explanation, ““At Mustard Seed School, we take time at Lent to listen carefully to God’s word, to pray in word and in image, to examine our own lives, and to give to and forgive others.  Each day, as we follow the life of Christ from before Jesus’ birth to his crucifixion, we listen to a portion of scripture, reflect upon a work of art, and respond.”

Together, we set our face toward the cross. And we pray, “Jesus, teach me how to follow you.”

Jessica Smith

Music Teacher, Preschool and Grades 6-8; Worship Coordinator

With more than 20 years experience teaching music in a variety of settings from elementary to college, Dr. Jessica Smith has a deep love for music education, integrated arts curriculum, world music, and worship.
Recently Smith traveled to Ghana to study West African drumming and dance as part of a fellowship from Fund for Teachers. In 2015, she completed four years of training to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais™ Practitioner, a method that uses neuroscience and movement as a catalyst for potent learning. As a clinician, Smith has led workshops in vocal studies and drum circle facilitation. Before coming to Mustard Seed School in 2008, Smith was the Director of Preparatory & Continuing Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where she also served as a Visiting Professor.

Dr. Smith enjoys traveling and spending too much money on plants at the Union Square Greenmarket.

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