The forty days of Lent reflect the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness after his baptism, being tempted by Satan and preparing for his public ministry. In the Church Lent is a time of preparation for Easter: traditionally new Christians would be baptised during the Easter ceremonies, and those who had been excluded from the Church’s fellowship would be reconciled. This history explains the characteristic notes of Lent – self-examination, penitence, self-denial, study, and preparation for Easter, to which almsgiving has traditionally been added.
We begin Lent in ashes, an ancient sign of penitence. With the dominant notes of the season being penitence and preparation, the liturgy is simplified: liturgical dress is plainer; there are no flowers in church, and the Gloria in Excelsis is omitted.
As Holy Week approaches, the atmosphere of the season darkens; the readings begin to anticipate the story of Christ’s suffering and death, and the reading of the Passion Narrative gives to the Fifth Sunday its name of Passion Sunday. During Holy Week we are invited to share in Christ’s own journey, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the desolation of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and the joyful celebrations of Easter. These services contain some of the most ancient texts used in the Church, and help us to enter more fully into the mystery of God’s love for us, shown in the death and resurrection of his Son.
The following Lent sermon series will take place at Evensong on these days:
Lukan Parables on the way to the Cross
5th March – Margaret Tinsley LLM
Lost Sheep & Lost Coin
12th March – David Nye LLM
The Prodigal Son
19th March – Margaret Stratton LLM
The Persistent Widow
26th March – Rachel Wakefield LLM
The rich man & Lazarus
Quiet Abbey will be every Monday in Lent at 8pm.
It will include the opportunity for quiet prayer; exposition and prayer before the sacrament; Confession; laying of hands for healing and anointing; concluding with Compline each night at 9.15pm.
If you would like to be a member of a House Group this lent, please click here.