Fr. Justin Clemente | February 22, 2022
Brothers & sisters in the Lord: the time fast approaches for us to enter into the forty days of the Lenten season. The Prayer Book’s Ash Wednesday service centers us in its call to a holy Lent:
Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful, were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. In this manner, the whole Congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need that all Christians continually have to renew our repentance and faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and alms-giving; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.
In a word, we are all invited to come back to the foot of the Cross. We are all to be renewed in our need for our Savior, and by doing so, to be renewed in the joy of his Resurrection. There’s no better way to enter into the joy of Eastertide than by following in the footsteps of the time-tested season of Lent.
Of course, the season of Lent begins with the clarion call of Ash Wednesday. In an effort to draw in as many people as possible, Ash Wednesday services will be offered at 12:30 & 6:30 PM on March 2.
Corporately, we’ll be observing several disciplines together: throughout Lent:
- Firstly, in the wisdom of our Tradition, we’ll be hearing from the selected Lectionary readings each Sunday in Lent. I urge you to prepare your heart and mind each week to hear the Word of God afresh.
- Secondly, we will be using Seek God for the City, a daily Lenten resource that helps Christians to “pray beyond their own concerns with biblical clarity and confidence.” Here, we’re praying that others might join us, too, both in Lent and the joy of Easter!
- Thirdly, each Wednesday continues to be devoted to prayer and fasting as the Lord directs. If you have yet to engage our Day of Outreach & Midday Prayer Service, now would be an excellent time to do just that!
- Fourthly, a service of Lenten Evening Prayer will be available on March 16, 6:00 pm. This in-home service consists of a Simple Meal and a brief Evening Prayer service around a topic related to Lent. The Dasch family will be hosting us this year. Address: 13006 Sturbridge Ct, Hagerstown MD 21742.
In addition to all this, two resources are available to guide you in discerning how the Lord wants to be at work in your life this lent, individually. Our Way of the Cross guide orients you on how to keep a biblical Lent and our Lenten Devotional guides you in self-examination and a private meditation on the Stations of the Cross.