“Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” ~Book of Common Prayer, pp. 264-265
There are many opportunities here at Saint Matthias’ to observe a holy Lent:
A Space for Grace – first 5 Sundays from 9:15-9:45 in Morrell Hall – Take the Gospel for each week deeper into your reflections by entering into conversation with members of your parish family using materials provided to us by the Diocese. On Thursday April 6 at 6:30 p.m. we are invited to gather at the Ministry Center (1064 Brighton Rd., Tonawanda) for evening prayer, reflections by Bishop Franklin, and further conversation.
Stations of the Cross – every Sunday during Lent at 11:30 in the church. Let us walk this Lenten pilgrimage together, stopping at each station to remember our Lord’s journey in His last days and to pray together. We end at the cross. Everyone, including children and youth, are especially welcome. If you have difficulty walking, you are invited to simply sit in the church and take part from your seat.
Free Lenten Meditation Books published by Episcopal Relief and Development are available at both church entrances.
5 Marks of Love – I will post thoughts and activities for you from this beautiful offering of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist here in the e-news for you and your family.
Confession – The sacramental rite of the Reconciliation of a Penitent is available in Lent and at all times throughout the year by appointment. This is a wonderful opportunity to lay down your burdens and lighten your load. Although we make our confession together each time we receive Communion, it is sometimes good to examine our lives a bit more thoroughly, and to be assured of God’s love and forgiveness despite our human frailty. Lent is an especially good time for this as we are then freed for fullness of joy as we celebrate new life in the Resurrection. Just give me a call and we can set up a time.
Lent is a time to deepen your relationship with God, and what better way than to do that with your wonderful parish family? Make room in your Lent and in your life to come and try a new activity or event. Let us know what is working and what isn’t working (we may or may not be able to change it, but you will be heard). Whatever disciplines you choose this Lent, whether as an individual, as a family, or as part of your parish family, make it do-able and sustainable. After all, the goal is to have life, to have it more fully, and to have it forever.
God bless you in this Holy Season.
Your companion on the Lenten journey,
PS If you received your Ashes in the drive-thru or otherwise missed church services on Ash Wednesday, you may want to pray through the Ash Wednesday liturgy which can be found on pp. 264 – 269 of the Book of Common Prayer. Of special depth and beauty is the Litany of Penitence found on pp. 267-269. These are good to return to from time to time throughout the church year.