Minute of Mercy - A Lenten Tradition

"Christ Washing Peter's Feet" by Ford Madox Brown

mercy, charity, clemency, grace, leniency mean a disposition to show kindness or compassion. mercy implies compassion that forbears punishing even when justice demands it.1

We have the smallest, yet dearest tradition for Lent going this year. It is affectionately referred to as “The Minute of Mercy.” Every day at 3:00 (the hour that Jesus died for us on the Cross), we pause in what we are doing. One or two of the students will tell a brief thought about something that strikes them about Jesus’ suffering and death for us. What beautiful, solemn, profound thoughts have been spoken in this classroom. We close our eyes and give one minute to picturing Christ crucified on the cross, appreciating his love and sacrifice for us. We silently pray or thank him, and then we pick up our books again. Who knows what the Spirit shows them? They keep this in their hearts, silently, and everyone is quiet and glad. One day after our history lesson, I forgot the Minute of Mercy and got out my book for read aloud. Everyone, positively everyone, grinned and started laughing. They raised their hands. I lowered my book a little. “I wish I knew the joke,” I said, laughing, “What is so funny?” They called out like birds in springtime. “It’s Minute of Mercy!” “Mrs. Kimball, you forgot!” “We can’t forget the Minute of Mercy!” No, I suppose I really can’t! Because heartfelt praise and reverent adoration are joy to the soul, and people really do long for this with all that they are, even more than a favorite story.

~Ambleside School of Colorado