Every Sunday, immediately before our worship, I pray with the acolytes, choir, and servers for the day. We give thanks for the opportunity to gather on the Lord’s Day, for the privilege of serving in the Lord’s Temple, and we remember that in all we do we are to be joyful, yet reverent, knowing that all our actions are to the honor and glory of God’s Name.
Truthfully, this is in part a reminder to us all to behave while we are in church. Mainly, however, it is a reminder that life with and in God is always colored by our joyful receiving of God’s mercy and love.
Again this year, our 10:00 a.m. worship will be the Holy Eucharist, Rite One. This seasonal change is NOT because Rite One is inherently more penitential, or because it somehow makes us suffer or feel less about ourselves. Rather, this change occurs in order to get our attention, to focus our thoughts and prayers through language that is familiar yet (now) different from our usual worship. I find that the language of Rite One, echoing the forms of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, brings me into a place of thoughtfulness that encourages me to consider the implications of my thoughts and actions in unaccustomed ways. It also leads me to a renewed awareness of God’s constant mercy, which is emphasized so clearly in Rite One.
On Sunday afternoons during Lent, we will reprise the 4 p.m. worship service that debuted in October. Once again, this service will be the more contemporary form from Enriching Our Worship, in the chapel, with Taize-style music. This quiet and less formal worship is another means of taking a different road to self-examination and intimacy with God.
Our diocesan convention will take place Thursday through Saturday of this week, at St. Paul’s, Daphne. Please keep our clergy and lay delegates in your prayers as they begin their work with our new Bishop Russell in deliberating and acting for the health and work of our diocese.
We enjoyed having Russell and Robin among us through Mardi Gras this past week, and we began our observance of a holy Lent in worship led by our bishop. This new chapter in our life together will ask much of us as the Cathedral Family, and we will answer this call with joy. Please keep our mission as the Cathedral church of this diocese in your prayers during this Lenten season, as we discern where God is calling us in our life together as the Cathedral Family.