Fr. Justin Clemente | February 21, 2023
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. Ash Wednesday service will be offered at 6:30 PM on February 22.
Here are some ways you can make Lent your own:
- First, in the wisdom of our Tradition, we’ll be hearing from the selected Lectionary readings each Sunday in Lent to lead us along the path of Lent. I urge you to prepare your heart and mind each week to hear the Word of God afresh.
- Second, 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. You can get them at the links above, or pick up a hard copy on the welcome table.
- Third, a service of Lenten Evening Prayer will be available on March 15, 6:00 pm. This service consists of a Simple Meal (no desserts, please) and a brief Evening Prayer service around a topic related to Lent. This service will be held in the Parish Hall. This special gathering will take the place of PNO & Renew Group for March.
- Finally, if you’d like to take up more extended reading this Lent, I highly recommend David Roseberry’s The Psalm on the Cross or Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship.
See you at the Cross.