The Season of Lent Brings Changes

March 8, 2019


The season of Lent brings changes.  Or at least it is supposed to. Those of you who will be worshipping at The Falls Church this, the First Sunday of Lent (March 10) will notice a note in the inside front cover of the service leaflet announcing several changes that the season of Lent brings to our Sunday morning services.  Since there's a lot there to digest, I thought I'd share a more fleshed out version here, as this week's e-news message.  In several places, I've provided links that give further information about each aspect of the service; click on them if you want to learn more.   During the 40+ day season of Lent, in addition to the physical changes in the church (no flowers, simpler or no adornments, purple vestments, etc.) you'll notice several changes to the liturgy itself. The most noticeable changes are that at the beginning of the service, rather than standing and singing an opening hymn during a procession, we begin the service with the worship leaders already in place. (In other words, no opening procession and not the normal robust opening hymn.) Rather, with all remaining seated, we will start Sunday services in Lent by singing together a "Call to Worship" chant in the Taize tradition. You can listen to the version we'll be singing here. We then stand for the recitation of the Ten Commandments,which is followed by Jesus' summary of the law (love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself). Then (kneeling as you are able), we move to the Confession of Sin and Absolution, and the singing of an ancient Kyrie Eleison (Lord, Have Mercy). The customary readings, sermon, recitation of the Nicene Creed, and Book of Common Prayer Prayers of the People (which are chosen for their simplicity and periods of silence), and Offertory anthem follow. As part of the Offertory, a change you'll notice is that after the Offertory anthem, instead of standing to sing our customary "presentation hymn," we stand as the offerings are brought forward in silence, and then, as they are placed on the altar, we recite, responsively, a selection of St. Ignatius Loyola's suscipe.  You can read full version of this lovely prayer at that link above. The part we use in liturgy for our presentation goes like this: (As our offerings are presented and placed on the altar) Celebrant:    You have given all to me. People:          To you, Lord, I return it. Celebrant:     Everything is yours; do with it what you will. People:           Give me only your love and your grace, In unison:      that is enough for me. A final change (at the 11:15 service only) is that during the season of Lent, we use the more traditional language of the "Rite I" Book of Common Prayer liturgy. (Read more about Rite I and Rite II here.) Lent is about change.  We hope these changes to our service help YOU change -- that by experiencing Lent more fully, Lent fulfills its purpose: to "create in us clean hearts" which are open to the unconditional and transformative love of God. See you Sunday,

John

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