The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter Sunday. In the early church, this period of 40 days was a time in which those who would be baptized on Easter engaged in a season of intensive preparation to join the community of faith. In Lent, the Church is invited to practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Worship in the season of Lent is always pointing us back to our baptism, which is the promise of God’s grace, the welcome into God’s family, and the invitation to life and death in Christ.
The worship space is set up in the round, a shape that reminds us of the font and of our oneness in the family of God. Communion is distributed in the round – God comes to meet us where we are, in bread and wine.
The music in Lent is repetitive, and easily learned. The simplicity of the song invites the words to take deep root in our spirits.
Worship is marked by extended periods of silence. This silence is an invitation to take a deep breath; an opportunity to notice the conversation going on in your own spirit; a moment to listen for the voice of God.
A meditation bell marks the beginning and end of worship, and calls the assembly to silence. The vibration of the sound invites the attention of our minds and our spirits. As the sound dies away into silence, we center ourselves on this moment in God’s presence.
Sermons in the season of Lent take on a “teaching” character, recalling the 40 days of learning and preparation of the ancient church. Each Sunday explores a different doctrine, or teaching, of the Church: sin, salvation, justification, theodicy, and eschatology.
A time for reflection, both silent and spoken, follows the sermon. Proclamation of God’s word is not only limited to those who have been appointed to preach. In baptism, the Word of God is alive and proclaimed in each of us.