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Dear Cathedral Family,

Psalm 51 has always been special to me, and so I am always glad when it appears in our lectionary cycle, as it does this Sunday. I love its language and cadence, and it always speaks in a fresh way to the moment when it appears.

At this time, as we come to the fifth week in Lent, I am encouraged by the way the Psalmist looks honestly at his past failings and asks to be washed so that he can feel clean and joyful and glad to be alive again. Using his image, you could think of Lent as a long hot shower, or a long soaking bath, from which you emerge clean and renewed and ready for new life.

The week before Holy Week is far enough into the Lenten journey to pause and look back at where it began as it moves toward its endpoint. You’ve settled into your Lenten discipline, and now you can begin to see its effects as you look forward to its conclusion. We’ve adjusted to the language of Rite One on Sundays, and soon we will leave it behind as we enter Holy Week.

The liturgies of Holy Week will be intense and the scriptural scenes often poignant and painful, but they are filled with deep, abiding love and point toward hope and new life to come. I hope and pray that your fifth week of Lent will be a time of preparation and strengthening for the rest of the season’s journey.




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