Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Invitation to Lent

“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent.”

I have taken these words directly from the Ash Wednesday service on page 264 of the Prayer Book. This is the church’s annual invitation to her members to “move more deeply in and more intimately into” our relationship to Christ as his followers and disciples. Note that we speak of the Easter season as glorious and the Christmas season as joyous, but the Lenten season is called holy. This is because the theme of the season is holiness both individually for her members and corporately for the community.

I hope all of you will give some thought this week as to how you will intentionally keep this season. Of course, the first invitation is into more prayer. These forty days are a good time to add quiet time and devotions or extended them. Prayer basically is talking to God. It involves bringing before God all our cares and concerns. It also means focusing on our relationship with God through praise and adoration. It also means laying before God the truth about ourselves through self-examination and confession.

You may also want to take on some special study or devotional reading. I am continuing the Cathedral Core Curriculum with our second one on Christian Believing. You can attend on Sundays or sign up for the notes and materials through emails by just hitting reply and asking for them.

I would also like to invite you to consider adding Evening Prayer one night a week at the Cathedral. We have a regular service at 6pm Monday through Thursdays. This makes a great way to end a busy day. We continue to offer weekday Eucharist Monday and Wednesday at 10am and Thursday at 7:15am.

Some of you may wish to seriously consider fasting during this season. Such actions as giving up sweets or other self-indulgences fall under this category. If you need or want the assistance of our clergy, we stand ready to give you spiritual direction and guidance during this special season of spiritual growth.

Make a beginning by joining in our Ash Wednesday services. They are at 7:15, 10:00, 12 noon (Bishop Lambert presiding), 6pm and 7:30pm (in Spanish.)

“Almighty and everlasting god, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen”

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