Lent begins this Wed. Feb. 22 with Ash Wednesday services at 7 am and 7 pm. I agree with my colleague The Rev. Kirk Kubicek, who claims "The Ash Wednesday liturgy is possibly the most meaningful liturgy in our Book of Common Prayer. It offers us an opportunity to stop, reflect on who we are and whose we are, adopt an attitude of humility, hit the reset button, and begin again. (emphasis mine) We are invited to stop the whirlwind of life and activities that surround us on all sides and remember: God hates nothing God has made; God forgives the sins of all who are penitent; our God is the “God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness.” So, I encourage you to come, and bring your family and friends, trusting that this is an opportunity to experience God's presence in Word and Sacrament, and to begin your Lenten walk in community.
My hope for all of us is that Lent this year will be a season of contemplation, where joy is found in stillness and quiet. Rather than beating ourselves up (never God's intention), may we accept the invitation to "reset" and begin again in a spirit of openness to God's mercy and grace. As the reality of life and death, forgiveness and new life are laid out before us, might we find space to ask ourselves what is most important in our finite lives here on earth? Perhaps the ashes we receive on our foreheads represent not only a message about "dust" but also a reminder of the power of God to heal and cleanse us? What might you offer up this Lent to make room for God's healing presence to burn away unnecessary things that keep you stuck? The image above reminds me of the holy fire, God's Spirit, always working in our lives, in all seasons.
Our new Sr. Warden, David Weiss also writes below about the power of Ash Wednesday as his welcome to Trinity Church. For myself, I find the Ash Wednesday liturgy, including the privilege to impose ashes on each of you as one of the most meaningful acts of my priestly ministry. Together, we are reminded that we are God's beloved creatures, that our lives are precious, and that we are loved and forgiven by God when we stop to acknowledge our place in the Creation.
Lent at Trinity this year offers a pathway to walk together! Please join in.
Holy Fire: Tuesday, Feb. 21 @ 7 pm we will burn last year's palms and offer up prayers and intentions into the fire to create ashes.
Ashes: Wed, Feb. 22 @ 7 am and 7 pm we worship and pray and mark ourselves with ashes as God's beloved creatures-forgiven, loved, and free.
Confession: The Book of Common Prayer offers rites for confession "Reconciliation of a Penitent" on pp. 446-452. I find this practice offers a powerful glimpse of God's kingdom and the freedom we can enjoy through this rite. Please reach out to Rev. Nancy or Rev. Christopher if you would like to discuss how to prepare for confession.
Contemplation and Joy: "Weeds to Palms" forum series begins Sunday, March 5 at 9 a.m.
Your Lenten Companion,