Lent is the season that precedes Easter, one of self-examination, reflection, and practice as we try to turn our lives back towards God and prepare ourselves for the Mystery of Easter. It’s a time to pay attention to what we need to take up and what we need to put down — often embodied in taking on a practice for the season, while fasting from something else. While there is a deeply personal element to Lent, as we plumb our souls, it is a time best entered as a community. Together we support each other, reach to make ourselves vulnerable as we work to re-form our lives, and offer care to one another with the knowledge that we are all in this together. There are many ways to practice Lent; here are some of the common ways we make our way through the season at All Souls:
Ash Wednesday: March 6th
Services at 7:00 am, 12 noon, & 7:30 pm
Come together to begin Lent on Ash Wednesday. Services are at 7:00 am in the chapel, and at noon and 7:30 pm in the sanctuary. The morning service is simple and spoken. The midday service is simple as well, but includes some music, and the evening service includes full choral music. We’ll be sharing the imposition of ashes, a reminder that we are mortal and belong to God, at all three services.
Soup + Story
Throughout Lent, we gather for Soup + Story: a time to meet weekly in each others’ homes to study the Bible, share our stories, and eat soup. It’s a great opportunity to get to know other folks, and to be known by other folks in the church. If there is a silver-bullet to getting involved here or diving a little deeper, this is it. The groups meet on different nights during the week, so you get to pick what night works best for you and/or your family. This year we will dive deeper, through images and story, into the lectionary from the previous Sunday and into the sermon that was given on that Sunday. This is meant to be a full-family event, so feel free to bring your kids along (if the group is noted to be kid-friendly!). Any questions? Or need help finding a group that fit you/your family? email Emily, email@example.com. Click here to sign up!
A few years ago we started a new tradition of shaping crosses out of clay with our hands, firing them in the Shrove Tuesday fire, and picking them out of the ashes on Ash Wednesday to carry with us as touchstones of our spiritual practice through Lent. Look for one on Ash Wednesday or in the Sundays that follow — they’ll be on small tables next to the cement pillars on either side of the altar.
Have you wondered about the Episcopal church? Wonder no more! For the five weeks in Lent, starting March 10th, on Sunday evenings, we’ll host this introductory course. In it we’ll explore the whys, hows, and whats of the Episcopal church. If you are looking to get Baptized, Confirmed, Received, or Reaffirmed in the church, this is the course for you. Or, if you’re just looking to learn more about this Episcopal tradition, this is also the course for you. Written by our own Stephan Quarles and Emily Hansen Curran with help from a fellow Episcopalian, Andrew Lee, this course is meant to deepen our faith, our practice, and our relationships. All are welcome. See Emily, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Adult Formation Classes
A new series of classes begin for adults on March 10 at 10:10 am. They are:
O, The (Not So?) Wondrous Cross
This course is on a basic symbol of the Christian vocabulary. How can we, as disciples, speak faithfully about the cross? This class will explore the symbol of the cross and its connections to discipleship through the lenses of prayer, social action, and salvation. The class will be taught by our own Dr. Stephan Quarles, who has just completed a PhD in theology at the Graduate Theological Union.
Eros and Eucharist for Easter: Setting the Table with Transformative Love
If “God is love” is God also “Eros”? Can erotic desire deepen Christian meanings of love? Do contemporary notions of eroticism make any difference in how we read biblical texts and Christian traditions? What is love? What is the erotic? How might these questions frame the Eucharistic table on our Lenten journey toward Easter? This Lenten series will explore the role of erotic desire in patterns of spiritual formation, especially in our shared calling to the work of social change and transformation. The class will be taught by the Rev. Dr. Jay Emerson Johnson, who is an Episcopal priest and Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at the Pacific School of Religion.
Entering Holy Week:
At each service, we will begin outside. Everyone will be given palms, which we will wave as we sing and process into the church, remembering the crowd’s excitement when Jesus returned to Jerusalem for the last time. We will gather to retell the Passion Gospel – this ancient story of betrayal, fear, power, and lament – that only seems to be more relevant with each passing year.
We remember Jesus’ last meal with his friends, and his bold commandment to love one another as he loves us – tenderly, in service, with humility. All who wish are welcome to come forward to have their feet washed and to offer the same care for another. The evening service concludes by processing outside and down to the chapel where consecrated bread and wine, the outward and visible sign of the presence of Christ, will be placed. The chapel is filled with flowers and plants reminiscent of the Garden of Gethsemane and parishioners keeping vigil there through the night until Good Friday. The noon service is simpler, with spoken word. The evening service includes a wide range of music.
Good Friday, April 19th
9:00 am: Simple Good Friday Liturgy (chapel)
12:00 – 3:00 pm: Contemplative Good Friday (main church)
4:00 pm: Holy Week for Children Service (main church)
7:30 pm: Solemn Good Friday Service
On Good Friday, we slow down to mark Jesus’ death and our participation in it. We pray, we repent, and we venerate the cross – this awful symbol of execution, yet one that also brings liberation. At each of these services, there will be opportunity to pray with a large wooden cross and cover it with petals as a sign of our devotion. The 9:00 am service is simpler, with spoken word. The 7:30 service offers more sweeping music to ground our worship.
The Contemplative Good Friday Service, from 12 noon – 3:00 pm, offers a mix of scripture, poetry, personal reflections from parishioners, music, and silence. Worshipers are invited to move about the sanctuary freely, praying with icons or the Stations of the Cross, which this year are a collaborative photo collection. Many people only come for a portion of this service – feel free to come when you are able.
The Holy Week for Children Service, at 4:00 pm, is intended for kids roughly preschool – 3rd grade, though older and younger siblings are certainly welcome. It traces the arc of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday through music, prayer, Godly Play storytelling, with foot washing and a response in art. It will last less than an hour.