Lent at St. Paul’s

  Posted on   by   No comments

In the Liturgy for Ash Wednesday, we are invited to “observe a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” As children, some may recall the practice of giving up some earthly pleasure — chocolate, or cookies, or cake — and we may continue in that kind of spiritual discipline in obedience to the suggestion of self-denial in that Ash Wednesday invitation. Over the last several years, St. Paul’s has sought to “Do Lent Differently” by suggesting that another spiritual discipline is to take something on; to move more deeply into community with one another and those in the world around us, and to focus on the part of that invitation calling us to dwell more deeply in God’s holy Word.

This season, you’ll find many opportunities to move more deeply into a holy Lent: through worship and music, by cultivating a generous heart in giving to those in need; by studying the fruits of God’s Word in book studies and difficult, deep conversations. Please continue to visit this web page — throughout these next forty days and forty nights. It is our hope that you will find here something in which to participate as often and as fully as you are able. May each of us approach Holy Week and Easter with joy, emerging from this season of Lent

Click here to download the Lent & Holy Week Brochure.

Lenten Worship Opportunities

Ash Wednesday:
5:30 am—9:00 am: Ashes to Go at the South Norwalk Train Station
12:05 PM — Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
7:30 PM — Solemn Eucharist with the St. Paul’s Choristers & Schola and the Imposition of Ashes

Weekdays in Lent
Tuesdays in Lent:
6:30pm – Holy Eucharist
A special Lenten Adult Education opportunity follows this service (details below)

Wednesdays in Lent:
11:30 am – Holy Eucharist with Homily

Thursdays in Lent:
6:00 pm – Celtic Eucharist
Welcoming, meditative worship experience with candlelight and sacred music steeped in the Celtic tradition


Education & Formation during Lent

Tuesday Evenings: Adult Forum
Hunger: Sacred Conversations about Our Bodies
The series begins on March 20 and concludes on March 27 — 7:00 pm in the Parish Hall

Every Lent, we remember that Jesus was hungry. In Roxane Gay’s memoir, Hunger, she explores her own hunger and the relationship between her hunger, her body, and the challenges her body endures. On Tuesdays this Lent, we reflect on the stories she shares, as well as a variety of other material (both sacred and secular), in order to begin a more general discussion about bodies and hunger. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to read Hunger in advance of the sessions. A light dinner is served.

Please not that some difficult themes will be explored, including those of body weight concerns, eating disorders, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence) that may be difficult for some people. If you have any concerns or doubts about your ability to handle to engage with such material, contact Peter Thompson (thompson@stpaulsnorwalk.org) for more details. 

Topic Schedule:

2/20 Body Size, Body Appearance, and Body Image

2/27 Food, Eating, and Eating Disorders

3/6 Race, Ethnicity, and National Origin

3/13 Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation (featuring guest facilitators Anthony Crisci and Jennifer Hudson)

3/20 Sexual Harrasment, Sexual Assault, and Rape

3/27 Good Sex

Sunday Morning Adult Forum: God in the Arts
Beginning on February 18 and concluding on March 18 — 10:15am in the Saint Hilda Room

The spring Adult Forum calendar features a continuation of the 2017-2018 forum series, God in the Arts: Encountering the Sacred through the Gift of Imagination. Join in discussion as we explore how spirituality and the arts intersect and inform one another.,

February 18  — Love Bade Me Welcome: The Music of David Hurd
February 25 — Faithful Cross Above All Other: The Cross & Crucifixion in Christian Art
March 4 — Arts for Healing: The Transformative Power of Music & Art
March 11 — Art in Community: The St. Philip’s Artists’ Guild on Creative Work Together
Note: this forum takes place in the ARTWorks Gallery in the Chittim-Howell House
March 18 — The Passions of Christ: Musical Retellings of Jesus’ Death

Doing Lent Differently

This Lenten Season, St. Paul’s invites you into “Doing Lent Differently“ by participating in Laundry Love. This year, St. Paul’s joins three sister Episcopal churches in the Southwest Region of CT, Open Door Shelter, and Triangle Community Center to launch an initiative to assist the homeless in our greater community. Our collaboration will fund a regular laundry day on the First Wednesday of every month at Giant Laundry in East Norwalk. Volunteers will pay for the washers and dryers that participants use as they do their own wash; while also hosting guests in an inviting, supportive environment complete with refreshments and hope — hope that the money normally spent on laundry can be directed to other important uses such as healthcare, education, job training, and food; hope that clean clothes can lead to dignity and a better self-image; and hope that lives will flower with the support of a caring, involved parish.

Look for Laundry Detergent Containers in the Parish Hall to make your donation, and consider joining a team at the Laudromat. Volunteers will work in 2 hour shifts between 3 pm and 9pm. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Marsha Dunn (admin@stpaulsnorwalk.org) in the Parish Office.

Special Music in Lent

Evensong with Benediction
Sunday, February 18, 5:00 pm (Organ Prelude at 4:45pm)
A service of contemplative,glorious Choral Evensong with Benediction, one of the most wonderful ways to experience liturgy and hear St. Paul’s Choir. Composers include Parry, Gower, Gibbons and Howells.

Special Events

Stations of the Cross on Good Friday
March 30 at 12:00PM

Join us on Good Friday at mid-day for this moving service featuring the poetry of Malcolm Guite. Walking the Stations is a liturgy designed to bring us into a meditative presence of traveling with Jesus in his journey from arrest and trial all the way to Golgotha and the Cross.

An Easter Worship Event for Young Children and their Parents
Saturday, March 31 – 10:30 am

A celebration of Easter that touches upon elements of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday and the Last Supper) but with its primary focus on the Resurrection. This is a somewhat less formal and more interactive service designed especially for young children with their parents. It will be followed by a reception and Easter Egg hunt.

St. Paul’s Holy Week and Easter schedule can be accessed here.