Lent is a season of preparation leading up to Easter. It is the forty days plus the six Sundays before Easter. For centuries, it has been observed as a special time of self-examination and penitence. Lent is a time of spiritual cleansing, of prayer, and of growth in faith…a time of returning to the Lord our God, who is gracious and merciful and abounding in steadfast love.
If you have found yourself away from church and wondered about another try, Lent is the perfect time. For centuries, Lent has offered a chance to try the fellowship of the church one more time. In fact, Lent developed as a way to receive people back into church. If you are questioning your own faith and wondering what you believe, this could be the perfect time to come back to church.
Throughout Lent, the worship services of the church take on a simpler tone, appropriate to this season. Crosses showing the risen Christ are veiled. The word "Alleluia" is not used in the words of the liturgy or hymns. These practices help the worshipping community to mark this season of renewal as a special time in the church year.
The custom is to mark the season of Lent by giving up some things and taking on others. Both can serve to mark the season as a holy time of preparation. Some examples of things people give up for Lent include sweets, meat for all or some meals, and alcohol. In most cases, giving up something for Lent can be made more meaningful by using the money or time for another purpose. For example, meal times on fast days could be spent in prayer. Another example is that if you give up meat during Lent, the extra money that would go to meat dishes can be given to a group, such as World Vision, which works to end hunger worldwide, or Daily Bread which supports London families. Some things added during Lent might be daily Bible reading, extra times of prayer or taking a course of study related in some way to spirituality. Note that the season of Lent is forty days plus the six Sundays. This is because Sundays are celebrations of Jesus’ resurrection and are always an appropriate day to lessen the restrictions of Lent. So that if you have, for example, given up chocolate for Lent, you could indulge in a weekly candy bar on Sunday.
A Question and a Challenge for Lent
At the heart of becoming a disciple of Jesus lies the process of transformation, and at the heart of transformation we find the question, “Where is God in this?” In the midst of our daily living during these 40 days of Lent, can we stop at least once every day to ask this question, and then listen for the whisper of God’s Spirit to us guiding our reflection and our response? Perhaps it can become a habit, a holy habit. Jesus was a master of using the everyday to stretch his disciples beyond their usual view of people, their world, and their understanding of God. Have an experience? Witness an event, reading a particular news story? Don’t rush through, stop … pause … consider, Where is God in this?
Lenten Moments: A daily e-mail with a reading and a question each day in Lent beginning on Feb 17th and sent to our parish email distribution list.
PRAY AS YOU GO ...https://pray-as-you-go.org Pray As You Go is a site that offers a brief, daily musical selection and reflection on a Bible reading. An app for your phone is also available to truly listen “as you go”. Listen to one day or every day.
A Year in the Church, Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide with Cross-Quarter Days Discipleship Formation Program from the Diocese of Huron Lenten Resources
Given the current restrictions placed upon us by Covid 19 our Ash Wednesday Gathering will be a virtual one. Please join us.
Special Days and Services
Virtual Pancake Supper: Cooking with Angus ... Really
It is certain, like so much we have been experiencing during Covid, that Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Tuesday) was likely like none other we have experienced. However, to add a little fun to the day, we planned several “treats”. On Tuesday, February 16th we posted our Pancake Master Extraordinaire, Angus McC’s, video of his pancake making on this special evening.
Admittedly, this is all a bit unusual, but we hope you joined in the fun and cooked along with Angus, knowing others at St Anne’s and Trinity Lambeth were doing the same thing all while enjoying some delicious maple syrup. Not the same, sure ... but not bad!
If you would like to purchase quantities of a locally produced Maple Syrup, Adam from Clark’s Maple Syrup (a parishioner from Trinity Lambeth and kind provider of Maple Syrup to our 2020 Pancake Supper) would be pleased to hear from you by calling Clark’s Maple Syrup at 519-675-8733 and to either do a porch drop (no additional cost) of your syrup, or arrange for a curbside pick-up.
The first day of Lent is marked with fasting, when safe, and a special liturgy. The theme for the day, though not for all of Lent, is that we stand as sinners condemned to die, but for God’s grace. This is symbolized by the imposition of ashes on the forehead, with the words, "You are dust and to dust you shall return." In the Old Testament, ashes were a sign of penitence (feeling regretful at offenses) and mourning.
Stations of the Cross
These are depictions of 14 incidents in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death, from the condemnation at Pilate’s house to being placed in the tomb. They are used for the service called the Way of the Cross, which visits each station in turn with a brief reading, response, collect and on some occasions, a meditation. This is particularly appropriate for Good Friday and all Fridays in Lent.
The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death.
We encourage you to experience this ancient tradition, remembering that Christ died to save us all from sin. Without truly experiencing the agony of His death, we cannot fully understand the glory of his Resurrection.
Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis; also called the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or simply, The Way) refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. The tradition as chapel devotion began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period. It may be done at any time, but is most commonly done during the Season of Lent, especially on Good Friday and on Friday evenings during Lent.
The object of the Stations is to help us make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death. It has become one of the most popular devotions for many Christians.
The Stations themselves are (usually) a series of 14 pictures or sculptures depicting the following:
1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus receives the cross
3. Jesus falls the first time
4. Jesus meets His Mother
5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
6. Veronica wipes Jesus' face with her veil
7. Jesus falls the second time
8. Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
9. Jesus falls the third time
10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
12. Jesus dies on the cross
13. Jesus' body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense
Each of us wants and needs to have space for quiet, for then one begins to see with the eyes of the heart” - Desmond Tutu.
Come to the Via Dolorosa and take up the Cross. Be with Jesus as He makes his final walk on this earth. Each Station bears its own witness to Our Lord’s final grueling journey. Who will you identify with? Perhaps with Simon of Cyrene who helps and picks up the cross, or perhaps with Veronica who steps out of the crowd to wipe the sweat from His eyes?
Take time this Lent, to not only “talk the talk”, but also “walk the walk”. Experience what happened over 2,000 years ago and know how much He loved us then and how much He loves us now.