In Lent, we are called to a period of self-examination and repentance. To do so, we have to look inside of our hearts. What is in there? What’s going on inside of you? Is it worry? Doubt? Loneliness? Lust? Often the struggle within us is hidden from everyone else and we may even be unaware of it. We are need of Urgent Care. How can God help us both become aware of our need for Urgent Care and give us the power to overcome these battles? In this series we will discover how to overcome the sickness within.
Next week is the beginning of Lent. Our worship services will take on a much different “feel” than during other seasons of the year. Not only does the color change from green to purple (and the alleluias disappear), but the tone changes to a quieter, more contemplative worship. We have more periods of silence, reflection and less music than usual. This is to help us understand the importance of living into a “holy” Lent whereby we are all made aware of our need of repentance.
At COTHA we usually use the liturgy (worship service) that is found in the BCP (Book of Common Prayer) called “Rite Two.” While we will continue to use that form at 10:30, at our 8:00 liturgy (worship service) we will use a more traditional form called “Rite One.” The most obvious difference is in the use of a more “traditional” language (the use of thees and thous), but it will also help us to experience more of a “penitential” sense of worship. The use of more traditional vestments (the garments that the presider wears) will connect us with the rich tradition of our past. A chasuble, which is a sleeveless outer vestment that is worn by the officiating priest during communion, will be worn as part of our early service. Reflecting the season, the chasuble is purple in color.
Both services will take on a different tone in order for us to benefit from the forty days of Lent. In order to fully experience the richness of our Anglican tradition and to prepare for the celebration of Easter, you are invited, in the name of the Church, to a holy Lent. This can happen through your own personal practices, such as either giving something up for Lent, or taking on a new practice, and corporately through our worship. Next week, we will begin each of our services in quiet procession as we contemplate on our sinful ways and our need of a savior. Next week’s services will begin with “The Great Litany,” which is an extended prayer focusing on that which we have done and left undone. For the remainder of Lent, we will continue the practice of beginning our services in quiet and prayer. Our Ash Wednesday services, at noon and 7 PM begin our journey. Ash Wednesday is this coming Wednesday, February 10th.
We have been given a rich tradition that has been passed down to us from previous generations. While our tradition should never be limiting to us in our expression of worship, it does assist us in going deeper into our worship of both a transcendent and immanent God. We pray that your Lent will enable you to celebrate the resurrection on Easter Sunday in a even more profound way.
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