Dear Cathedral Family,
The early date of Easter this year (April 4) means that our time in the season after the Epiphany is relatively short. This Sunday, February 7, will be the fifth Sunday of the season, and the next, February 14, will be the last. Three short days after that, Lent will begin on Ash Wednesday, February 17. We will have two services that day, each offering the imposition of ashes without Holy Communion, in order to keep our worship time under an hour. Bishop Russell will be present with us that day to preach and invite us into a holy Lent.
I say this not to hasten the time away, but to encourage you to begin considering and praying about how you will keep a holy Lent and to let you know some of the ways Christ Church Cathedral can be a part of that time for you.
Our wonderful Children and Youth Team, after finishing their “love bags” to be distributed this week, have turned their attention to preparing a low-impact and family-friendly way to “keep a holy Lent at home.” They will be making this available to everyone in the congregation in the upcoming weeks. We also have available our usual “Journey Through Lent” posters offering simple ways for anyone to live intentionally through this season of preparation.
Speaking of preparation, which is the spiritual focus of Lent as we prepare for the new life of Easter, our youth confirmands will be gathering via Zoom to prepare for Bishop Russell’s confirmation visit on the Third Sunday of Easter, April 18. If any adults among you would like to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church, please let me know, and we will arrange time for adult inquirers’ preparation.
Some of our familiar formation and worship opportunities will be returning and taking on new dimensions during Lent. These offer ways to make regular weekly worship a part of your Lenten discipline. The Reverend Marshall Craver will be leading a contemplative prayer group on Mondays at noon. The Dean’s Bible Study will continue on Tuesdays at noon. Our Wednesday noon service (available in recorded version later in the day) will feature musical guests to add another dimension to this time of quiet reflection and worship.
Of course, you may also decide to commit to a daily discipline of reading and praying the Daily Office during Lent, engaging in regular physical exercise as a spiritual discipline, practicing Sabbath-keeping, journaling, or reading meditatively. This might be the year to develop a new discipline that you can call upon when needed throughout the year.
We did not expect a second Lent of social distancing and covid protocols, but thoughtful planning for keeping a holy Lent may be a way to reflect upon and appreciate the hidden grace emerging from a challenging year.
May you know God’s peace,