By Mother Rebecca Dinovo

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 self-denial;
and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.”
(Book of Common Prayer, p.265)
 

Lent begins this year on Ash Wednesday, February 22. We will have services at Noon and 6:30 p.m. here at Grace with the imposition of ashes and Holy Eucharist and we encourage everyone to make time to attend this important Holy Day in the life of the Christian Church. If you’re wondering why we impose a cross of ashes that day, there are several reasons:

  • First, it is a symbol of our mortality: we were created out of dust and will return to dust;
  • second, it is a sign of our penitence (sorrow for our sins);
  • and finally, it is a sign that we are given everlasting life as a gracious gift from God.

Lent is a penitential season and a time of spiritual preparation leading up to Holy Week and Easter. The two traditional days of fasting in the Church year occur on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and Lent is a time we traditionally give something up, as a sacrifice to God. Conversely, we may also want to “take something on,” such as an additional discipline or practice, to deepen our connection to God. This can come in many shapes and forms and is really up to you to prayerfully discern.

One way we have traditionally observed Lent is by deepening our spiritual and theological understanding through study. This Lent we will be offering a “Soup Supper Study” for adults on Wednesday evenings called “Mere Anglicanism.” In it we will go back to our Anglican roots to discuss and rediscover the wonder of what it means to be an Episcopalian as members of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We will cover the topics of Anglican History, Anglican Worship and the Prayer Book, Anglican Spirituality, Anglican Theology and the Bible, and Anglican Discipleship. We will gather at 6 p.m. for Holy Eucharist in the chapel, followed by a simple soup supper and the study. Clergy will lead the classes and the series is suitable for both long time Episcopalians as well as those new to the Episcopal Church. Come and learn!

And may you be renewed this Lent, as you observe this special, holy season.

 

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