Sisters and brothers,
First, I want to thank all of you for allowing Br. Ray and me to have some vacation time away! What a blessing! We had spectacular weather in Mexico. I also want to thank Bishop Rick, who served as our Celebrant in my absence. I understand that most of you behaved yourselves. Everyone’s attendance while I am away is always appreciated! Thank you!
This Sunday marks the ending of the season following the Epiphany. Lent is quickly approaching! It would be a good time to highlight our Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras/Cajun Celebration this Tuesday. It has become the tradition in New Orleans to mark the beginning of Lent with one last blow-out or hurrah, before everyone knuckles down to their Lenten disciplines. So Tuesday is a day to celebrate and enjoy food, fun and fellowship. We invite you to spread the news about our Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday fundraiser. The food will be fantastic!
As I stated, Lent begins next week, so I want to strongly urge you to get yourself to church on Ash Wednesday. Do your best to take part in this observance. As is our custom, we will offer a noon service for those who work downtown as well as those who might not be able to make our evening service. That simple, spoken, noon-time service will be held in the chapel and should take about 45 minutes. Then at 7 p.m. we’ll have our regular Ash Wednesday service in the nave, complete with choir and organ. Both services will include the imposition of ashes and Holy Eucharist.
This Lent, I have decided to modifying our liturgy from years past and use parts of the liturgy found in the Anglican Missal. So, rather than beginning with the Decalogue (10 Commandments), or the Great Litany, the service will begin with a penitential rite based on selected Psalms. The opening liturgy will take place in front of the altar rails. We will seek repentance and absolution before entering the sanctuary and altar. It is a reminder that we should approach God with humility, solemnity, and reverence.
Lastly, some of you may note that I have posted an invitation to our Hispanic sisters and brothers (and their spouses, partners, friends and supporters) – encouraging them to join me for lunch and discussion on February 18th. I want to hear from you regarding how we might be more welcoming and supportive and what we might do to grow this segment of our community.
Blessings and Shalom!
To read more: Around the Parish, Feb. 8, 2018