Lent at St. Paul’s

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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 download St. Paul’s Lent Brochure 2017 and refer to it frequently — or 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

Lenten Worship Opportunities

Ash Wednesday:
5:00 am—10:00 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 Choir and the Imposition of Ashes

Weekdays in Lent
12 noon–1:00 pm: Midday Meditation
Gregorian chant for personal meditation (Sung live on Wednesdays)

6:00 pm: Evening Prayer (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday)

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
The Apostle Paul
The series begins on March 7 — 6:30 pm in the Guild Room

Who was the apostle Paul? Misogynist? Liberator? Founder of Christianity? Distorter of Jesus’ message? However we think of him, we cannot deny that, after Jesus, he has been the most influential person in Christian history. Beginning March 7, the Reverend Helen Durany, Deacon and Seminarian, leads a class that considers Paul’s life and teaching. Scholarly opinions on Paul will be presented and participants will read some key texts to explore the main themes of his letters.

March 7 — Introduction to Paul’s life and letters
March 14 — No Forum
March 21 — Grace and Sin, the human person
March 28 — Jesus, the divine human
April 4 — Ethics
April 11 — The Church

Wednesday Evening Book Study
Race and Social Justice Book Discussion Group
Beginning on March 15 — 6:30 pm in the Guild Room

The Race and Social Justice Book Discussion group continues in Lent, beginning March 15th with Will Willimon’s Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love, a recent book by the Methodist bishop which explores the Christian imperative to love outsiders in a simple, straightforward manner, with a particular eye toward the contemporary moment. Chapters of the book are relatively brief and thus easily accessible for busy people, but provide a lot of relevant material for meaningful conversation.

March 15 — Chapter 1: Saved by the Other
March 22 — Chapter 2: The Other, My Enemy
March 29 — Chapter 3: Learning to Fear Like Christians
April 5 — Chapter 4: Loving the Other in Church
April 12— Chapter 5: Jesus, the Other

Doing Lent Differently

This Lenten Season, St. Paul’s invites you into “Doing Lent Differently“ by taking on the challenge of helping local children attend day and overnight camps this summer. There are several children in Norwalk who never have the opportunity to experience the joys of Summer Camp. The Social Justice and Outreach Team is working with the Family and Children’s Agency to provide scholarships for children who might otherwise never be able to attend a Summer Camp Program. Throughout Lent, the team will be on hand during coffee hour to provide information on how you can help. You can also donate online here or through St. Paul’s Text-to-Give option by sending a text to 203-307-1126 with the amount followed by Doing Lent Differently.  For example, to donate $50, send the following text to  203-307-1126:  50 Doing Lent Differently.

Special Music in Lent

Evensong with Benediction
Sunday, March 26, 5:00 pm
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 Rheinberger, Gower, and Near.

Special Events

Stations of the Cross on Good Friday
April 14 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 Liturgy for Young Children and their Parents
Saturday, April 15 – 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.