Ash Wednesday & Lent

"The purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to 'soften' our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden 'thirst and hunger' for communion with God."
- Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

Ash Wednesday

The church season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, where we come forward and receive a cross of ash marked on our forehead along with the words, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." This is a somber service. The colors in the sanctuary change from a brilliant white on Transfiguration Sunday to a deep purple on Ash Wednesday, the color of night falling. The candle that was lit in celebration of baptisms will be gone, and we will come forward in worship, to receive ashes smudged on our foreheads. Why do we do this each and every year?

It's because of this phrase - memento mori - "Remember, you must die." This is not a reminder anyone likes to hear, but it is the reason the Church embarks on the Season of Lent each year for 40 days before Easter.  A reminder of physical death? Yes, and yet more than that, it is a reminder that in order for a new life to begin and to grow and flourish, there must be a death. The somberness, the darkness, the ash, the reminder of our mortality, all serve one purpose: to wake us up. We like the disciples on the mount of Transfiguration need to be awakened from our sin, spiritual slumber, the familiar, and the comfortable, in order to recognize the goodness of God.  In Romans, the Apostle Paul tells us "if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (8:13). That is what we as individuals and as the church seek during the season of Lent, to put to death that we might live. It's why we receive the ashes in the form of a cross, because from the sign of death comes new life.

We invite you to participate with us in a Holy Lent, starting with Ash Wednesday, and make this season a season set apart for God. You can begin simply by setting aside time in the midst of the hurry of the week to pause, to remember, to reflect on God's mercies to you.

Service Times

Our Ash Wednesday services will be held in the Interim Sanctuary on February 14 at 7:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 6:30PM.
 
Childcare is available for 12:00 PM and 6:30 PM. 

If you can't make it in person, our 12:00 PM and 6:30 PM services will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel and on our website.

Lent

Lent originated as a time of preparation for Easter, spanning 40 days (not including Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday. During Lent, we spend a little longer confessing our sins because the focus of this season is repentance - a turning of our hearts, minds, and actions from ourselves to God. An ancient practice of the Church is fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. We encourage you - as a way to turn your heart towards God to fast from a food, drink, habit, or vice this season, and replace it with prayer, reading or memorizing scripture, or sitting quietly before the Lord for a few minutes each day. The Sundays in Lent are in the season but not of it and are celebrated as "feast" days, traditionally days on which Lenten fasts are broken as we gather together for worship and to celebrate Christ's resurrection.

Purple, the color of Lent, signifies penitence and humility and is meant to remind us of humanity's suffering under sin and of Christ's suffering on the cross- the color of a bruise. Purple is also the color of royalty and anticipates the coming glory of Christ's resurrection on Easter.

Join us as we seek to see God more clearly, recognize his mercies to us - new every morning - and rejoice more fully at Easter.

Midweek Eucharist Services

On Wednesdays, you are invited to join us in the Chapel at 12:00 PM for a brief Eucharist service to help mark this season as "set apart". We invite those who are able to make this service a regular practice as part of your observance of a Holy Lent.

Service dates: February 21, February 28, March 6, March 20, and March 27.

Childcare is provided for 3s and under.

Resources

Daily Worship Guide

We create this prayer guide every year as a form of scaffolding to help shape and nurture your life of prayer during this season. Each week of Lent features readings, prayers, and hymns for you to use independently, with family, friends, or a formation group. We encourage you to choose a time, either in the morning or evening, to engage in daily prayer, directing your heart, mind, and soul towards God and away from ourselves. You can utilize these resources, along with others available in our All Saints Bookstore, to join us in dedicating this season to God in observance of a Holy Lent.

Lent Playlist

Special Days to Remember

Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 24
Palm Sunday is the entrance into what is known in the Church as "Holy Week." It is also often called "Passion Sunday." At All Saints, we use both and call it "Sunday of the Passion - Palm Sunday." One really needs both titles in order to describe the events we mark on this day. We mark the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem with waving Palm branches, a celebration! But we also mark the entrance into Jerusalem as the final leg of his journey as he draws near to the cross, his passion. Join us on this day as the children lead us in worship with a Palm processional and as the color of the season changes from purple to red in preparation for all that is to come in Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday

Thursday, March 28
6:30 PM
The word "Maundy" comes from a Latin word "mandatum" that means "command." On this day in human history, Jesus said to his disciples: "A new command I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another." Jesus said this immediately after having shown them how they were to love... by washing their feet. It was also on this day that the Lord instituted the Eucharist meal by celebrating the Passover with his disciples and using it as a sign of what he would do on the next day, Good Friday.

Good Friday

Friday, March 29
7:00 PM
On the Friday prior to Easter, Good Friday, the Church traditionally marks the crucifixion, suffering, death, and burial of Jesus. Services on this day are a time of both somber reflection as well as preparation for the celebration of Easter morning. At All Saints, our service includes a dramatic reading of the passion narrative from the gospel of John, a brief homily, and a time of prayer. The congregation leaves in darkness and silence.  Although Good Friday is marked by sadness and mourning, it is not without joy. We hope that those who gather on Friday and leave in darkness will return on Sunday in the light of the celebration of Easter and the resurrection.

Easter Sunday

Sunday, March 31
We will have four service-times on Easter Sunday this year, beginning with a special Sunrise Service (7:00 - 8:00 AM) and Easter Breakfast (6:45 - 8:30 AM).

Please note: The sunrise service will begin in our columbarium. From there we will process into the Interim Sanctuary together to celebrate our Lord's passage from death to life.

Service times:
7:00 AM Sunrise Service
8:15 AM Worship Service
9:30 AM Worship Service
10:45 Worship Service (English)
10:45 Spanish Worship Service (in the Chapel)