birch-purpleA holy fast envelops us, calling us to pause and reflect. Lent is a penitential season of forty days and nights (excluding Sundays) when we are asked to tuck away our exuberant “Alleluia” cries so that we might search for a deeper meaning of Christ’s time here on earth. 

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6, with Imposition of Ashes & Holy Communion at 12 Noon & 7:00 PM.

On March 10, the First Sunday in Lent, we chanted the Great Litany and celebrated Holy Communion at all three Sunday morning services—8:00, 9:15, and 11:00 AM.

Our worship space, liturgy, and music have been transformed to help encourage and inspire reflection and contemplation.

Our worship space: As you enter the Nave, you’ll notice the Holy Water stoup contains sand, reminding us of our wilderness journey. As your eyes gaze east or west, you’ll see the Stations of the Cross hanging from jute straps along the walls. As your eyes move to the front, you’ll see deep purple dupioni silk banners, decked with painted Birch branches pregnant with the buds of Spring, hanging in the niches. Look toward the altar and notice it is bare slate. On the retable, you’ll find bare branches instead of flowers. Our signature stained glass window is also covered, muting its many colors.

Our liturgy and music: Musical preludes are not offered in Lent so that worship can begin in prayerful contemplation. Music takes on a contemplative component that draws greatly from the breadth and depth of our Anglican heritage. Musical postludes, though subdued, will be offered from the piano.

Our worship on the First Sunday in Lent begins with the Great Litany. The Great Litany was the first text translated from Latin into English by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer back in 1544. A litany is a prayer in multiple parts with several petitions. A Lenten Litany opens our worship from the Second Sunday and remaining Sundays in Lent. This homegrown litany is adapted from the Episcopal Church’s Enriching Our Worship, 1998, with minor additions from the Book of Common Prayer. Our Lenten Litany begins with an Invocation of the Holy Trinity, continues with what you might recognize as Prayers of the People, and concludes with a call to confession which leads naturally into the Penitential Order. This is done to focus our hearts and minds on penitence and forgiveness near the start of the liturgy.

Deliberate silence occurs after each reading, begun and ended by the sounding of a singing bowl, allowing time to contemplate what we’ve heard. We chant the Psalms to plainsong; this often reveals new meaning and interpretation not encountered in accompanied or metrical Psalm settings. Intentional silence is inserted between the Communion Hymn and Post-Communion Prayer. These transformations are done to allow us to reflect in quiet and to open our minds to different vistas and glimpses of the Divine.

lent_retreatLenten Suppers and Evening Worship

All are invited to share in simple suppers before our Wednesday night Lenten evening worship on March 13, 20, and 27 & April 3, 10, and 17. Suppers (including child-friendly food) begin around 6:15 PM, followed by Evening Prayer and Communion from 7:00-7:45 PM. Be part of this offering by helping with set-up, cooking or clean-up afterwards. To help, please sign up in the Narthex.

Lenten Meditations from Episcopal Relief and Development

We invite you to share in the 2018 Lenten printed or email series from Episcopal Relief & Development. Each day during Lent you can read a daily reflection, co-authored by a group of Anglican Communion and other faith leaders. During this season of reflection on our Christian faith, their writings will enhance your spiritual journey as they both inspire and challenge you. You can pick up printed copies at the greeter table in the narthex or subscribe to the digital version and receive daily emails.