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My choice of a Poem for Lent today is ‘All in an April Evening,’ by the Dublin-born Katharine Tynan Hinkinson (1861-1931). Despite its opening line, the title of this poem is taken from the last stanza, drawing attention to the real subject matter, which is not the beauty of pastoral scenes in the countryside at Spring time, but the Crucifixion and death of Christ on the evening of Good Friday.

Katherine Tynan's poem became popular and well-known after it was set to music by Sir Hugh Roberton (1874-1952), who gave it a tender and light but reverent setting for two-part chorus and piano accompaniment. This memorable song is steeped with pastoral imagery and natural energy.

On these days in Lent, as we move on from the lambing season, it has been a pleasure to watch the lambs in the fields growing, yet still dependent on their mothers for guidance, protection and safety. The lambs in the fields are a reminder that God’s Creation is at its best and most beautiful when it is nurtured in unconditional love.

In Holy Week we are preparing for one of the ironies or paradoxes of our Christian faith, in which the Good Shepherd becomes the Lamb of God.