Lent at Saint Michael’s

Lent will be different this year. Those desiring ashes for use at home are invited to pick them up during office hours, Tuesday through Thursday, 10:30 AM—2:30 PM. We will contact families with children, youth, or grandchildren to arrange delivery of home Lenten activity packets. If you prefer to have ashes or activity packets mailed to you, please contact us by Feb. 11 at Noon.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17, with Imposition of Ashes & Holy Communion at 12 Noon & 7:00 PM.

On the Sundays in Lent, we will begin worship with a Lenten Litany. A litany is a prayer in multiple parts with several petitions. 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.

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

Our worship space: You will see deep purple dupioni silk banners, decked with painted Birch branches pregnant with the buds of Spring, hanging in the niches. Gaze toward the altar and notice it is bare slate. On the retable, you’ll find bare branches instead of flowers. Our iconic stained glass rose window is also covered, muting its many colors.

Our liturgy and music: Instrumental preludes are displaced by simple plainchants in Lent, binding our worship to that of generations long ago. 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 either the organ or piano.

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

Lenten Meditations from Episcopal Relief and Development

Due to the magnitude of collective loss experienced in the past year, the theme for this year’s meditations is on lament. You are invited to come to these meditations with an open heart. What you read may challenge you and give rise to unexpected or uncomfortable feelings. This year, the meditations are fully digital and you can download the entire booklet. If you would like to receive meditations daily by email, subscribe here.