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Lamb roast

09 May 2014

ON MAUNDY Thursday, the Revd Sarah Jones and her friend Ruth Wilkinson spent the day slaving over a hot bonfire in the churchyard of Holy Trinity, Finslock, in Oxford diocese. They were roasting a whole lamb over the open fire, a task that takes six hours; but a further two hours were needed to get the fire to the right temperature in the first place.

The evening service started with a hymn, a prayer, and a reading. Then, in memory of the Passover, the lamb was served with pitta bread and salad, accompanied by a glass of wine or beer. The service resumed with the Passover reading from Exodus 12 about the cooking of a whole lamb, suggesting that if the lamb is too big, you should invite your neighbours, and roast it over an open fire with bitter herbs, and eat it with bread made without yeast. (Whether they observed the further instruction, to eat it in haste "with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand", Ms Jones does not say.)

Those who wished then went into the church for the more usual foot-washing and communion. All that remained, Ms Jones says, was for her and Ms Wilkinson to clear up.

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