Things are different in Lent. As the text of the Ash Wednesday liturgy says, the church’s observance of a holy Lent involves self-examination and repentance; prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and the reading of and meditating on God's holy Word. To help focus our attention on this time of penitence each Sunday, our Lenten services reflect this more solemn and contemplative season.
Some changes you may notice during our Sunday services leading up to Easter:
There are no flowers in the Sanctuary, reflecting repentance over celebration.
The service begins with the Lenten Acclamation, focusing on the merciful forgiveness of our sins.
We neither sing nor speak “alleluia,” again reflecting penitence over celebration. (Our Sunday school children carried away our Alleluia banner during the service on the last Sunday of Epiphany.)
There are no organ preludes nor postludes at the 10 a.m. service.
We do not sing the Gloria in Excelsis.
The service music (e.g., the Sanctus [Holy, holy, holy]) is quieter and more solemn, generally in a plainsong setting, including the psalm which is chanted rather than spoken.
The priest's vestments and altar hangings are purple, representing Jesus’ royal kingship and of his royal priesthood, as he embraces suffering and finally death on the cross.