February 17 begins our observance of Lent, and our worship will change accordingly, beginning with the Great Litany at 9:45 am. The Great Litany is a form of prayer where the people make short responses to a series of biddings or petitions. This particular litany is most appropriate for Lent, times of anxiety or emergency, or during planting season. Its pattern and some of the petitions date way back into history. Its use is as timely today as ever. You can find it in the BCP on p. 148-154.
Lenten worship changes for both services begin with the order of the Liturgy of the Word (the first part of the service up through the Peace) using what’s called the Penitential Order. It just means we remember God’s ways and our distance from them as the first act of worship. At 10 am, a chime will mark the beginning of meditative silence and a silent procession. The opening sentences and confession will use texts authorized since the 1979 BCP. Since our alleluias are put away, there will be a hymn before the gospel proclamation. Service music will be familiar, and we’ll use the Great Thanksgiving Prayer C. The most tangible change will be a service booklet containing all the texts and lyrics for the Liturgy of the Word. After that, we’ll return to the prayer books for the Liturgy of the Table, which is always a mini-Easter, even in the Lenten season.
Our Holy Week schedule is being developed. We will offer the Proper Liturgies on Maundy Thursday (including footwashing), Good Friday at noon, and an Easter Vigil. These services are called the Triduum and are some of the richest in symbol and mystery in all of our Christian tradition.