An Invitation to a Holy Lent
In anticipation of our annual celebration of this marvelous mystery, it is right that we would examine ourselves, renew our repentance, and quicken our faith by discipline, prayer, and study. It is his grace which works so powerfully through us; how can we not offer to him everything that we are in return? He offered himself and made, once for all time, and perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the whole world. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
This is the purpose of Lent. Not that forty days once a year is all we ought to do of all that, but that an intensive seasonal reminder of our daily duty at all times may steal us for another year ahead, and prepare us to truly receive again as if for the first time the grandeur of the Good News of our Lord’s exaltation on that first Easter Sunday nearly two thousand years ago.
Lent at Christ Church Anglican
- Ash Wednesday: Tonight at 7:00 pm at Wayne United Methodist Church, we will share with our Methodist brothers and sisters in a service of Holy Communion and Imposition of Ashes. The tone of the service is solemn: a silent procession in and out, a chanted psalm of penitence, an elaborate confession in litany form, no formal fellowship afterward. Come in quietly, offer yourself to the Lord, and leave quietly. Child care will be provided. More info here.
- Sunday worship during Lent: throughout Lent, you will notice some changes to our normal liturgy on Sundays. We will be processing in silently, that we might be still before the majesty of God. We will be rehearsing the Decalogue every week, that we might thoroughly examine ourselves before making our Confession at the very beginning of the service. We will be using the Long Form Eucharistic Prayer, that we might hear the beautiful theology of redemption enshrined in our most foundational liturgy. On the first Sunday of Lent, we will pray the Litany in procession, that we might bring all our concerns for the world before the Throne of Grace, and we will hear Thomas Cranmer’s classical Exhortation to self-examination before our Confession.
- Prayer and Fasting on Fridays: As we did last year, we will be offering a simple service of Noonday prayer at Wayne United Methodist Church on Fridays. I encourage you to fast from your lunch on this day and pray with me, either at the church or wherever you are. I ask you to especially pray for our congregation, that God would enliven our hearts for his Name, that he would restore to us the joy of our salvation, that he would lead us in all wisdom and power to reach our communities with his transforming love.
- Weekly Educational Offerings: Lent is a time to double down on our discipline of biblical study and formation. We will have a number of offerings available for that:
- The Ten Words: a study of the Ten Commandments: this teaching series will be led by our own Isaac Demme after the service on Sunday throughout Lent. More info here.
- Following Christ the Anglican Way: I will be leading a Confirmation class with a focus on our Anglican identity during Lent, also after the service on Sunday in the Conference Room. More info here.
- Celebration of Discipline: a midweek Lenten Study and Potluck: on Wednesdays from 6:00 to 7:30 pm we will be hosting a joint study of Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline with Wayne UMC and St. Matthew’s UMC at St. Matthew’s (600 Walker Rd, Wayne, PA 19087). Potluck supper at 6:00 with study starting about 6:40. More info here.
- Bishop’s Lenten Study: Our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Julian Dobbs, has prepared a five-part video Bible study for Lent which focuses on death, heaven and hell, and the judgment. Each week we will be posting one video (about 40 minutes each) to the Notes from the Rector’s Desk blog on our website. (NOTE: Part on available now by clicking here.)
- Holy Week Services: we will have a full slate of special services during Holy Week:
- Palm Sunday, March 29: with the Procession of the Palms and the Passion Gospel reading at our principal service.
- Maundy Thursday, April 2: at 7:00 pm we will hold a joint Maundy Thursday service with the Methodists at Wayne UMC.
- Good Friday, April 3: At noon on Good Friday we will join with the Wayne Ministerium for their annual Good Friday midday service, hosted this year at St. Katherine of Sienna Roman Catholic Church on Lancaster Ave. in downtown Wayne. In addition, we will have our own service of Evening Prayer with a meditation on the Cross at 7:00 pm at Wayne UMC.
- Great Vigil of Easter, April 4: at 7:00 pm at Wayne UMC, we will host the Great Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter.