Over the next two months prior to Easter, reflections will be shared from Regional Executives from American Baptist regions through the 2017 season of Lent. For the second Sunday of Lent, a reflection is provided by Dr. David Carrico, Executive Minister of the West Virginia Baptist Convention. Click here to view the reflection posted for Ash Wednesday. Click here to view the reflection posted for the first Sunday of Lent.
Lenten Traditions in the Mountain State
In the Mountain State of West Virginia the Lenten season is a very localized observance. There are not many churches that observe Holy Week to it’s fullest. Few of our congregations have a liturgy as a part of their worship and even fewer clergy follow the lectionary for preaching guidance. The traditional observance of Lent is not strongly stressed. As a life long Baptist I was fortunate to have pastors who understood the diversity of the church world. Lent was a special time of reflection and scripture focus. Spring was a time for annual revivals and for many that was enough. Any traditions of Lent were left to families to affirm, and traditions are great reminders of our journey of faith. If not practiced, traditions fade away.
One tradition was that of baking Hot Cross Buns. Basically these buns were a sweet roll marked with a cross cut into the top or an icing cross on each roll. These buns were made with yeast dough and some dried fruit added if you wished. The buns were made to share as gesture of friendship, usually given away on Good Friday. Like many traditions my mother was the gatekeeper of family traditions. As the years went by and mom’s memory faded so the Hot Cross Buns went away.
Traditions point to something else and the Lenten season reminds us to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and give the story away, just like sharing Hot Cross Buns.
Dr. David Carrico
Executive Minister, West Virginia Baptist Convention