Lent is a season of preparation and repentance leading up to Easter. This year Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 14, and continues until the Easter Vigil on the night of Saturday, March 30.
As your priest, it is my sacred obligation to call you to a holy Lent during this time. Lent is an opportunity, perhaps, to fast from something or give something up. It is also a time, perhaps, to take up something new—some new spiritual practice, study, scriptural or devotional reading. Below you will find information about the Lenten services, and practices that are available at and through Church of the Holy Apostles. You may choose to do one or more of these activities, or they may simply serve to spark your imagination. Whatever the case, I implore you to make Lent something special. Make it personal to you and your spiritual journey.
As in many things in life so it is for Lent, you get out what you put in. In this case, if you spend time this February and March making for yourself a holy Lent, spending the extra time on your spiritual journey, you will be abundantly rewarded with a joyous and festive Easter season. The more intentional the Lent, the more meaningful and joyful your Easter will be. Remember, Lent may be 40 days, but Easter—the season in which we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus—is a 50 day party!
Ash Wednesday – February 14
6:20AM-8:46AM – “Ashes to Go” – Imposition of Ashes w/out a service at the Penfield station of the Norristown High Speed Line
9:15AM – Liturgy with Imposition of Ashes, no Eucharist
12:15PM – Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes
6:30PM – Holy Eucharist with music and the Imposition of Ashes
Wednesday Night Study Group
Our Lenten Study Group each Wednesday of Lent (except Feb. 14 & March 28). We will gather, eat a simple dinner, and discuss the inexhaustibly fascinating subject of prayer. Youth and adults welcome.
6:30PM in the Memorial Room
February 21 – Varieties of Prayer
February 28 – Confession
March 7 – Intercessory prayer
March 14 – Contemplative prayer
March 21 – Prayer with implements (icons, rosaries, etc.)
Featured Book: The Practice of Prayer by Margaret Guenther
As a compliment to the Wednesday night study, and as a way to deepen one’s understanding on one’s own, I am recommending the book, The Practice of Prayer, written by the venerable Episcopal priest and spiritual director, Margaret Guenther. I am buying several copies for the church’s library, personal copies can be purchased from amazon.com for between $10-$15.
Other books on various spiritual themes chosen from the parish library and from Fr. James’ library will be available to borrow and read. Look for the book table display outside the parish hall.
Seeing the World Aright
The poet, Mary Oliver says, “To pay attention; that is our endless and proper work.” This Lent you are invited to practice the spiritual discipline of paying attention. The idea is that you use your camera phone (or other camera) to take one picture for every day of Lent looking for some little beautiful, or sacred, or holy thing that is breaking into your ordinary life:
the first green shoots of spring, the smile of a child or grandchild, a lovingly prepared meal, a candle lit against the darkness, anything that reminds you that you are God’s and that God is present in the smallest ways, and most ordinary circumstances. There is no need to be a professional photographer, it is about training ourselves to see the divine everywhere. You
will also be invited to share your pictures on facebook and other social media platforms, if you wish.
Clergy of the Merion deanery (Episcopal churches in Lower and Upper Merion and surrounding area) are collaborating on a collection of short daily devotional readings. The devotional will be distributed as a printed booklet to all the congregations in the deanery, as well as posted online in a daily blog format. This will be a nice way to “be on the same page” with many of our Episcopal neighbors during Lent.
Stations of the Cross
February 23 – Friday, 6:30PM – Multi-media Stations of the Cross
March 11 – Sunday, 5:30PM – Children & Youth Stations of the Cross for Family Evening Worship
March 16 – Friday, 6:30PM – Multi-media Stations of the Cross
March 30 – Good Friday, 7:30AM – Traditional Stations of the Cross
Holy Week & Easter
Palm Sunday –
Holy Eucharist with Blessing of the Palms, Procession, and Passion Reading – 10AM
Morning Prayer – 9AM
Tenebrae – 6:30PM
Holy Eucharist – 7:30AM
Maundy Thursday –
Holy Eucharist with Foot-washing & the stripping of the altar – 6:30PM
Stations of the Cross – 7:30AM
Potential Ecumenical Good Friday Service
Good Friday Liturgy – 6:30PM
Easter Vigil followed by Champagne Reception – 8PM
Festival Eucharist with Baptism – 10AM
The Church office will be closed both Monday & Tuesday following Easter day.