Lent at Christ Church: A Season of Reflection

Lent is a time of reflection that begins with Ash Wednesday (February 14 this year) and ends with East (April 1). It marks the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert resisting temptation from the devil. During Lent, Christ Church Needham and Christians everywhere focus on repentence and preparing for Easter.

At Christ Church, the anticipation began February 11 with guided worship services in which the Reverend Nicolas Morris-Kliment explained the liturgy in detail. Parishioners enjoyed a Mardi Gras-themed coffee hour and an “untalent” show.

Lent officially begins with Ash Wednesday on February 14. Services with ashes will be held at 7 am, noon and 7 pm. Lent-to-Go boxes, blessed in the Church, are available for those who are unable to get to Ash Wednesday services. The boxes (see photo) also contain prayer and reflection helps for the season of Lent.

This Lent, Christ Church will also offer “Soul Tending in the Garden of Your Life,” a program designed to help busy people of all ages slow down and experience the work of God in their lives. Using a variety of methods, including video, arts and crafts, discussions, readings and others, we will build habits and patterns into our lives that help us to grow in the love of God, self, others, and creation. The program is an adaptation of a program created by the Society of St. John the Evangelist and the Center for Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary. See more here: ssje.org/growrule/

Two time slots are being considered–five Sundays at church, 11:30am-1:00pm, on February 18, 25, March 4, 11, 18; or five Wednesday Evenings in people’s homes, February 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21. Each session can also stand alone. All gatherings will include a simple meal, program and closing prayer. If you are interested, please take this survey to indicate which time slot suits your life better. Survey Monkey Poll

During Lent services, more silence and simplicity, including silent processions, will be incorporated in worship. The liturgical color changes to purple, symbolizing mourning on the one hand and royalty on the other. Jesus exemplifies kingship based on humility and service rather than force and exploitation. Beginning with Lent, and continuing thereafter, wine without alcohol will be available during communication (as well as the already offered gluetn-free wafers).

The spectacular Fauré “Requiem,” a musical Lenten offering, will be a performed at 3 pm, March 11, 2018, by the Christ Church Choir. Joining our choir will be the choirs of St. Paul’s, Dedham, and the Congregational Church, Needham. Rivers Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of David Tierney, will accompany the singers. Parishioners who would like to sing with the choir in this musical venture are invited to contact Music Director Pam Goody.

Also available are booklets with lenten readings that make excellent prayer companions on the journey through Lent. Copies can be found on the table in the Upper Parish Hall. The booklets are: Forward Day by Day, Episcopal Relief and Development and Living Compass