"This ensuing Week is the Holy of Holies"

From a 1676 Lenten sermon by Herbert Croft, Bishop of Hereford, drawing together the themes of Lenten abstinence, Holy Week, and preparation for receiving the Sacrament on Easter Day:

I beseech you also remember the faithful Promise of Christ. That if we ask, seek, and knock, this Grace will be given unto us. And never more seasonable than now to seek it; for you know, Lent is the holy time appointed by the Church for Fasting and Praying, and this ensuing Week is the Holy of Holies, and more especially requires it. How you have spent the former part, God and your own hearts best know; but if amiss, I, with St. Peter, beseech you, That the time past may suffice to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in Lasciviousness, Lusts, excess of Wine, Revellings, Banquettings, and such like. Very unfit for Christians at any time, much more in the holy time of Lent. We must therefore, according to St. Paul's Directions, earnestly endeavour to redeem the time past by great Humiliation, and fervent Devotion, this Week yet to come; that so we may be meet partakers of the holy Mysteries, at the approaching Feast, and thereby partakers also of that powerful Grace which transform'd Saul into Paul; and will likewise transform us Sinners into Saints, if we receive those holy Mysteries worthily.


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