Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Join us this Tuesday, February 28, for our traditional Shrove Tuesday Pancake supper in the parish hall to celebrate the end of the Epiphany Season and to prepare for the Lenten Fast. We will serve pancakes, sausage, and bacon along with coffee, orange juice and milk to drink. We need everyone’s help in this project, most especially in the area of ticket sales . . . the pre-sale of tickets is where we make the majority of our income . . . please EVERYONE get tickets this morning from Jimmy Henry to sell now!! We also need volunteers to help cook, serve, and clean up. There is a sign-up sheet in the parish hall . . . please sign up to help where you can!

This is traditionally the day when all the leavening and sugar is used up in the home to prepare for Lenten fasting. This is done symbolically by cooking oodles of pancakes and using up all the syrup for dinner. It is called Shrove Tuesday because it is the day for shriving (old English verb meaning to cut off sins by going to confession) in preparation for receiving ashes the next day.

Redeeming the Time: The Season of Lent (Pt.2)

In the previous Anglican Moment, I reiterated the fact that one of the purposes for Christ’s Incarnation was to reclaim the entirety of God’s creation for God and His holy purposes which in the beginning He called “good”. I emphasized that part of this creation, of course, is time. In Ephesians 5:16, St. Paul exhorts Christians to “redeem the time because the days are evil.” Therefore, the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit developed a Liturgical Calendar for this very purpose of redeeming the time.

I then reminded you that it was for this reason that one of the major aspects of my vision for parish ministry is to help develop the liturgical life of the parish and to help all parishioners to incorporate the Liturgical seasons and celebrations into their lives. I call this plan collectively, “Redeeming the Time.” “Redeeming the Time” means planning for the themes, moods, and liturgies of the Christian Year, and also includes special reinforcing festivities to help make it all an active and anticipated part of life as a Christian.

Last time, we examined the themes and mood of Lent. This brings us now to an examination of the Liturgy and its changes during Lent. Remember the purpose of the changes is not to just do something different, but to emphasize the unique themes and mood of the Season of Lent and to help us more fully immerse ourselves as Christians in those themes and mood.

The Sanctuary and the Chancel: Both the Sanctuary and the Chancel will be as plain as possible to keep with the penitential theme of Lent. All banners and other decorations will be removed from these areas. We will replace our normal altar cross with a wooden cross and the altar candles holders with wooden holders. All of the crosses will be veiled during this season as well.

Altar Flowers: In keeping with Lent’s penitential theme of preparation, there are no flowers on the altar.

The Paschal Candle: The Paschal Candle, which during most of the Church year stands beside the baptismal font, will be removed from the Church until the Easter Vigil.

Sanctus Bells: The normal Sanctus Bells are replaced during Lent with a single bell.

Liturgical Colors: Our altar hangings and vestments will be purple for this season. Purple is the color of both penance and the royal color worn to prepare for the King.

The Processional: Our entrance rite will be different during Lent. Rather than singing a hymn, we will process either reciting the Great Litany (pp. 148-153) or a penitential psalm in unison. The reason for doing this is because both the Great Litany and these penitential psalms “have served as a special sources of prayer and reflection during Lent for centuries” (ourcatholicprayers.com by Christopher Castagnoli).

The Opening Acclamation: In keeping with the theme of Lent, we will use a more appropriate acclamation to draw us into worship which will have a theme of penance and preparation.

The Decalogue (Ten Commandments): On some Sunday’s during Lent, we will use the Decalogue in place of the Summary of the Law. The Summary of the Law, of course, encompasses all of the Ten Commandments (“Loving God” covers the first 4 Commandments and “Loving Neighbor” covers the last 6 Commandments). However, the Decalogue “sets the clear tone of Lent which is a call to repentance and faithfulness to God’s Law.” The use of the 10 Commandments, therefore, is very appropriate for renewing our covenant vows before God in the liturgy during this penitential season. (“Lent: Why Do We Do the Strange Things We Do” by Fr. Eric Dudley).

The Kyrie Eleison: Again in keeping with the penitential theme of preparation in Lent, there are certain omissions in the Eucharistic Liturgy. This is where we find one of those omissions – The Gloria in Excelsis (no glorias or alleluias). In place of the Gloria, we will sing the Kyrie Eleison which better fits with our Lenten themes. This is “one of the earliest penitential supplications used in the Christian Church and it comes from the Old Testament.” We will sing the 9-fold Kyrie (each line sung three times for a total of 9 lines). (“Lent: Why Do We Do the Strange Things We Do” by Fr. Eric Dudley)

Redeeming the Time: The Season of Lent

Just prior to the start of the Advent Season, I explained that one of the purposes for Christ’s Incarnation was to reclaim the entirety of God’s creation for God and His holy purposes which in the beginning He called “good.” I emphasized that part of this creation, of course, is time. In Ephesians 5:16, St. Paul exhorts Christians to “redeem the time because the days are evil.” Therefore, the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit developed a Liturgical Calendar for this very purpose of redeeming the time.

In an article written by KimBerlee Conway Ireton, Ms. Ireton asks three compelling questions that some of us may have after reading the above – “Why do I choose to embrace the church year? What about this particular ordering of time is so compelling? And what effect does living according to the church calendar have on my moral and spiritual formation?”

Ms. Ireton’s answer is – “Embracing this way of marking the year has formed my faith and my character, in large part, because I am repeatedly thrust back into the life of Jesus through the stories told and retold each season. These stories place Christ daily before my eyes and point me back to the One whom I am all too prone to forget in the busyness and bustle of my life. Because each season has a special emphasis, I have opportunities to focus on specific areas of spiritual growth as I live out that season. Like any spiritual discipline, living the church year is most meaningful, most formative, and most transformative when we keep at it, embracing its seasons and their rhythms, allowing the life of Jesus to speak again and again into our own lives, seeking always to follow in the way Jesus leads us, year after year” (“Redeeming Time” in Christian Reflection, 2010).

It is for this reason that one of the major aspects of my vision for parish ministry is to help develop the liturgical life of the parish and to help all parishioners to incorporate the Liturgical seasons and celebrations into their lives. I call this plan collectively, “Redeeming the Time.” “Redeeming the Time” means planning for the themes, moods, and liturgies of the Christian Year, and also includes special reinforcing festivities to help make it all an active and anticipated part of life as a Christian.

Today, I want to look at the theme and mood of Lent. Then next week examine the liturgical changes during Lent which flow out of the Lenten theme and mood. First, let’s consider the theme of Lent. “Lent is a season of soul searching and repentance. It is a season of reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated baptism.

By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days in preparation of his earthly ministry. Thus, the first theme of Lent is withdrawal into the wilderness with Jesus in preparation.” The second theme of Lent, which is closely related with the first theme, is that it is a time of submitting to the discipline of discipleship. In order to be disciples of Christ, we must undergo the spiritual disciplines necessary to be conformed into Christ’s image (“Season of Lent” by Ken Collins).

The mood of Lent is one of sober contemplation and somber striving after holiness. In her article referred to earlier, Ms. Ireton describes the mood of Lent well. She states that each season of the Liturgical Year “has a special emphasis, [in which] I have opportunities to focus on specific areas of spiritual growth as I live out that season. In Lent the focus is on repentance—turning away from the sin that clouds our vision and encrusts our hearts and turning toward God who alone can redeem and transform us. Therefore, I can learn patience in this season by fasting from food or an activity. Fasting creates space in my life for God, so this season is also a time when I learn again to discern the still, small voice of God as he speaks to my heart and mind. Sometimes that voice speaks words of conviction, calling me to repent of some habit of thought, word, or deed. Sometimes, God’s voice speaks words of comfort, reminding me how deeply and wholly I am loved, regardless of what I do or don’t do. Either way, listening to God’s voice helps me to see myself more clearly and draws me deeper into relationship with Christ” (“Redeeming Time” in Christian Reflection, 2010).