The liturgy and music of Lent offer rich support for our journeys with Christ to Easter. From start to finish of our Sunday morning and even Tuesday and Thursday noon worship, the prayers, scripture readings, reflections, silences, and the Holy Eucharist invite worshippers to engage God–deeply. Christian history reminds that our praying shapes our believing (lex orandi, lex credendi) and that whenever we sing, we pray twice (St. Augustine). This I have learned firsthand and continue to hear from others is quite true.
During Lent, I invite us all to go below our natural surface levels into the powerful, intentional words that we pray when worshipping God. In this intentionally introspective season, let us listen closely to the scripture readings and homilies (shorter sermons); cherish the silences we rarely get outside of worship; remember our Episcopal tradition believes wholeheartedly in the “real presence” of Christ in the Bread and Wine; and sing (with our best abilities) the hymns, service music and responses from the hymnal and service leaflet.
Our worship invites us to use our God-given voice and to sing with a different voice than the voice used all week. It also invites us boldly to add new inflection to the words said so often and to breathe for inspiration from the Holy Spirit. As our exciting journey to Easter unfolds, may we find blessing and encouragement from a worship experience made even better by surrendering our all to God through liturgy (work of the people) and music.
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector