What is Lent?

As an exercise of self-reflection and repentance, we encourage you to make this Lent a period of intentional spiritual growth. Consider how you and your family can specifically commit to taking up these Lenten practices in your own life.

The invitation to worship on Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) offers a picture of what it means to join Jesus on the cross. As spiritual spring cleaning, Lent is a time to honestly reflect on ourselves and how we fall short of God’s ideal. We respond in humility with the three-fold traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and self-denial (or almsgiving).

Lent is spring cleaning for the soul. When Jesus suffered and died on the cross, he transformed death into a doorway to eternal life through the resurrection. For centuries, Christians have drawn spiritually near to Jesus’ suffering during the season of Lent, which is the forty days (not including Sundays) leading up to Easter. We do this based on the conviction that in joining with Jesus’ death, we share in his life.

“I therefore invite you, 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 meditation upon God’s holy Word.”

— Book of Common Prayer

Worship Services and Events

Pancake Supper: Tuesday, February 13 at 6:30 pm (Register Here)
Ash Wednesday: 
Wednesday, February 14, 8 am, 12 pm, and 7 pm
Palm Sunday: March 24, 8:15, 9:30, and 11 am
With True North Brass at 11 am
Maundy Thursday: March 28 at 7 pm
Good Friday: March 29 at 11 am
Discover Good Friday programming for children
Easter Sunday: March 31, 8:15, 9:30, and 11 am
With True North Brass at 11 am
Children’s Ministry Easter Egg Hunt after each service
Easter Lessons & Carols: April 7, 9:30 and 11 am

Fasting

Fasting is traditionally the practice of limiting the consumption of food, whether in amount (eating smaller and/or fewer meals) or type (abstention from meat, dairy, sweets, etc.).

Unlike modern diet culture, fasting is an ancient practice that can release us from pursuing earthly pleasure. It shows us our dependence on God and can stimulate a spirit of prayer. Jesus fasted and taught his followers to do so.

During Lent, you can fast from food or other consumptive practices. Use the discomfort of fasting as a call to prayer: whenever you crave what you’re fasting from, remember why you are fasting and say a short prayer, like “God, I do not live by bread alone, but by your Word.”

Consider fasting by:

  • Eating and drinking in moderation
  • Abstaining from pleasure foods like sweets
  • Giving up entertainment or social media

Important: if you have any concerns about disordered eating, you should speak with a priest and your physician before fasting from food.

Prayer & Confession

Prayer directs our hearts and minds toward God. It can be verbal or mental, expressing devotion, contrition, gratitude, and need, or simply the silent and still contemplation of God. Christians pray at set times (like devotions and grace at meals) and spontaneously throughout the day.

Prayer is how we strengthen our relationship with God. Jesus spent extended periods of time in prayer and scripture encourages us to make prayer a constant rhythm of life.

During Lent, you can give more time and energy to prayer or explore a new practice of prayer. If you don’t know how to pray, don’t be discouraged! You can use our Daily Prayer Book to guide you in prayer throughout the day.

As a community, join our online Compline Service on Wednesdays and opportunities for Confession during the Lent season. Visit our website for sessions,

Individually, consider:

  • Attending church every Sunday during Lent, as well as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday
  • Scheduling 5-15 minutes for prayer every day
  • Praying before every meal
  • Making a habit of spontaneous prayer, especially paired with the cravings from fasting

Confession

As a community of people learning how to follow Jesus, we strive to be a place of integrity and authenticity. We are a church that wants to create space for everyone, regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey, to acknowledge their desperate need for forgiveness and a fresh start. This Lent, by offering the spiritual practice of making confession to a priest, we hope to open up a non-judgmental space for people to rejoice in God’s mercy, love and forgiveness.

The practice of making an oral confession to a priest will be new to many at St. Paul’s. However, it is an ancient and valued part of our Anglican tradition, which teaches that “all may, some should, and none must”. Though we confess our sins together in our weekly Eucharist service, individual oral confession offers believers an opportunity for deep self-reflection and specific repentance, as well as a personal experience of God’s grace and forgiveness. Times for confession are as follows:

Ash Wednesday, February 14
8:30-9 am
12:30-1 pm
5:30-6:30 pm
8:00-8:30 pm
Sunday, February 18: 12:15-1 pm
Sunday, March 17: 12:15-1 pm
Maundy Thursday, March 28:
5:30-6:30 pm

Confessions will be private—you will not be seen or overheard by anyone else—and kept absolutely confidential. You do not need to make an appointment, and people will be received in the order they arrive.

It is important to prepare for confession in advance. You can use the guide for self-examination below.

Self-Denial

The most basic expression of self-denial is almsgiving, in which we give our property to those in need out of love.

Self-denial is the fundamental hope and commitment of the Christian life: whoever will lose their life for Jesus’ sake will save it.

Our natural, sinful tendency is toward self-gratification. Scripture is full of cautions against spiritual narcissism and paying attention to our spiritual health while ignoring injustice and suffering. However, in self-denial, we orient ourselves in love toward others and their needs.

During Lent, some of our local Outreach Partners will be visiting St. Paul’s and giving presentations about their work. This is an opportunity to learn more about their work in the city and how to support them. All presentations will take place after our Sunday services at 10:30-11:15 am and 12:15-1:00 pm.

Outreach Partners: