Resources for Lent
"Unfortunately some Christians live as though the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ never happened. Our lives become absorbed in the day-to-day experiences of life…. We too easily forget our Maker and Redeemer, replacing God with things and ambition. Lent is the season that does something about this situation. It calls us back to God, back to basics, back to the spiritual realities of life. It calls on us to put to death the sin and the indifference we have in our hearts toward God and our fellow persons. And it beckons us to enter once again into the joy of the Lord – the joy of a new life born out of a death to the old life.”
—Robert Webber (from Ancient Future Time: Forming Spirituality Through the Christian Year)
Since ancient times the church has observed a season of fasting and intentional austerity, consisting of the forty days (plus Sundays) leading up to Easter. This season began as a forty-day period of preparation and instruction for baptismal candidates, but eventually came to be observed by baptized Christians as a way of preparing our hearts to celebrate the wonder of Jesus' death and resurrection. To be a Christian necessarily involves a heart posture of repentance from sin and the inclination of faith toward God. Though Christians are always called to this heart posture, the season of Lent provides us space to practice that repentance with our bodies as well. A sustained consideration of our creaturely mortality and our moral culpability leads us to repentance, to renewed discipline, and to worship of our crucified and risen Lord.
Lenten Worship Services
- Palm Sunday — Sunday, April 2. 9:00am and 11:00am services, beginning in the backyard on the basketball court with the Liturgy of the Palms and then processing around the building, through the courtyard, and into the sanctuary for the rest of the service.
- Wednesday of Holy Week — Wednesday, April 5. Midday Eucharist service at 12:30pm, with the sanctuary opened at 12:00 for quiet contemplation.
- Maundy Thursday — Thursday, April 6, 7:00pm. Joint service with Church of the Cross at our building (112 Medina St). Nursery childcare is available with registration.
- Good Friday — Friday, April 7, 12:00pm and 7:00pm. At 12:00pm we will have a traditional Anglican prayer book Good Friday service consisting of scripture readings, songs, a sermon, and prayers; at 7:00pm we will do our Seven Last Words service consisting of parishioners sharing their stories interspersed with silence and song. Nursery childcare is available at both with registration: 12pm, 7pm
- Easter Sunday — Sunday, April 9. 7:30am, 9am, and 11am. Nursery childcare will be available at the 9am and 11am services.
Lenten Devotional Resources
- Each year we choose a book as a suggestion for our whole parish to read together, and this year we have chosen to read Backyard Pilgrim by Matt Canlis together (you can grab a copy in the courtyard on Sunday or order one here).
- Our Stations of the Cross artwork by Jim Janknegt will be in the sanctuary throughout Lent, and you can engage those works below as well.
- Our diocese has posted several resources here.
- The Matthew 25 Initiative offers daily Lenten reflection in your inbox — sign up here.
- Finally, our Faith & Arts group has put together a beautiful Lenten Devotional featuring artwork, scripture passages, and prayers for the season. Download it here, and a few print copies will be available on Sundays.
Suggestions for Lenten Disciplines
Individuals and families will want to put some thought into how you might observe Lent through fasting and discipline. The idea behind fasting is to identify something in your life that you tend to use to avoid feeling deeply or facing reality. This might be certain types of food, social media, alcohol, Netflix or anything to which you find yourself turning for distraction or self-medication. Since every Sunday is a resurrection feast for Christians, you might suspend your fast on Sundays. Or, if a 40-day fast is intimidating to you, you might choose only one day each week to abstain. The point is to cultivate a hunger for God by taking away something in our lives that’s not necessarily bad or sinful, but might be satisfying us in a superficial way where God wants to satisfy our souls deeply. For families, this can lead to great conversation as the season progresses about how we are each experiencing the fast and how God is speaking to each of us.
You also might consider engaging in a particular discipline to cultivate affections for and obedience to God. Some decide to engage in some kind of service to others, while others decide to begin a regular practice of daily prayer or to read a portion of the scriptures.
See this document for a list of suggested Lenten disciplines.
Stations of the Cross
Introduction First Station Second Station Third Station Fourth Station Fifth Station Sixth Station Seventh Station Eighth Station Ninth Station Tenth Station Eleventh Station Twelfth Station Thirteenth Station Fourteenth Station
The devotion known as the Stations of the Cross is an adaptation to local usage of a custom widely observed by pilgrims to Jerusalem: the offering of prayer at a series of places in that city traditionally associated with our Lord’s passion and death. The number of stations, which at first varied widely, finally became fixed at fourteen. Each station consists of a pictorial representation of the event being commemorated (ours were painted by local Austin artist Jim Janknegt), along with a versicle and response, a reading, and a collect (a short prayer).
A short anthem called the Trisagion is appropriately sung between stations.