My apologies for the late running of this service …
“Lent may originally have followed Epiphany, just as Jesus’ sojourn in
the wilderness followed immediately on his baptism, but it soon became
firmly attached to Easter, as the principal occasion for baptism and for the
reconciliation of those who had been excluded from the Church’s fellowship
for apostasy or serious faults.”
CW Times and Seasons
Thus the mixture of themes that start to emerge as we walk through these six weeks, stepping from our identification with Christ’s fast in the wilderness, to journeying alongside him on his last journey to the cross. We juggle penitence with discipline, and try not to get the two too muddled. We often simplify our liturgy and our ‘decor’ in order to mimic the wilderness, in our worship.
Mothering Sunday/Refreshment Sunday gives us pause for breath before we launch into the rigors of the Passion.
I have often found it helpful to emphasis Passiontide from Lent 5, often called Passion Sunday, with the older tradition of reading the Passion then, freeing up Palm Sunday for a focus on the Liturgy of the Palms. Others follow the Common Worship practice of a two-stage Liturgy of the Word for Palm Sunday. This latter has the advantage that for those who cannot make the solemnities of Good Friday, they are perhaps primed for the triumph pf Easter.
Below are some bits and bobs I’ve scrounge, found and borrowed that have been useful over this period. As usual, if you have anything you’d like to share, do please let me know.
A Prayer Rope can be useful as a meditation, or as the beginning of the use of rosaries.
Sometimes, at this season people like to use A form of private confession as a means of penitential discipline and self-examination. (Remember: all may, none must, some should!)
Often parishes find it useful to run Stations of the Cross, either regularly through Lent, or as a Passiontide exercise – perhaps with a school. Here are notes for a simple Stations of the cross as well as some Stations of the cross (solemn)
Don’t forget Bishop Brian’s Lent Course on this year’s theme of Challenging Poverty.