The Meaning of Lent
at Christ Church
Historically, Lent is a 40-day period of Christ-centered devotion between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
The practice of Lent has been observed by Christians around the world since the early centuries of the church. It is a season of spiritual preparation in which we remember Christ's temptation, suffering, and death.
To practice Lent is to draw near, and better understand, Jesus Christ. Lent is a season of intentional discipleship under Christ, and with Christ. We also practice Lent to bond more closely with fellow Christians who are on the same journey - not only with those at Christ Episcopal Church, but also with all those around the world. Along the way, our sin and habits are put to death, and we learn to internalize and share in Christ’s resurrection power.
In the Western church, the forty days of Lent extend from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, omitting Sundays. The last three days of Lent are the sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Today, Lent has reacquired its significance as the final preparation of candidates for baptism. Joining with them, all Christians are invited "to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word" (Book of Common Prayer, p. 265).
As is our custom here at Christ Church, during the season of Lent we will celebrate Holy Eucharist using the Rite I liturgy from our Book of Common Prayer. We will first use Rite I at the Eucharistic part of the Ash Wednesday liturgy, and return to Rite II at the Easter Vigil.
Services and Gatherings
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Diocese of Maryland has instituted new protocol regarding upcoming public gatherings and services for all churches in the region. Please understand that all services and gatherings at Christ Episcopal Church are suspended until at least May 17th, 2020 so all of the below is for reference only. All new If you have any questions or need other information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some of the services and gatherings that will be held at Christ Church during this 2020 Lenten season. More information can be found in our Sunday service bulletins, our weekly Christ Church Gatherings mailings, and other documents located in the New Brick narthex.
You are always welcome at Christ Church,
and we hope that you will join us often.
Every weekday between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday
The 2020 Christ Church Lenten Meditation Book contains parishioner submissions of prayers, songs, poems, and personal reflections. It also includes our favorite inspirational pieces by various writers and theologians, particularly focusing on our Spiritual Life theme for 2020 "Arise, for the task is yours... Take courage and do it." Check back each weekday, as daily meditations will be posted here on our website, and on our social media pages, throughout the Lenten season. Printed copies of our LMB are also available in the church's narthex while supplies last.
February 25th @ 6:00 p.m. in New Brick Lower Level
The youth of Christ Church will once again host our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper! Serving begins at 6:00 p.m. and we'll have pancakes, ham, sausage, milk and honey, as well as beverages and desserts on offer. Seating will be available until 7:15 p.m. Advance prices are: $7. for an adult, $5. for a child, and $22. for a family, and you can get tickets after Sunday services. The price for tickets at the door on the day will be slightly higher.
February 26th @ 6:00 am., 7:00 a.m., 12 noon, and 7:30 p.m.
On this particular day, we are not only reminded of our mortality but we are also reminded of whence we came, or are made of. To get our thoughts and minds ready for the season, we will have services at 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon in Old Brick, and 7:30 p.m. in New Brick.
Christ Church will also offer "Ashes To Go" on Ash Wednesday, from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. We will offer a short prayer, and administer the Ashes on those who cannot be with us in worship that morning, but who desire the Ashes nonetheless. Simply stop by the "Ashes To Go" banner, which will be in the main driveway.
February 29th @ 8:30 a.m. in Old Brick
This first Saturday in Lent will set the stage for our Lenten Reflection Day, taking place from 8:30 a.m. until 12 noon in Old Brick. This year we are very blessed to be joined by The Reverend Lura Kaval, Vicar of Church of the Incarnation in Mineral, Virginia. She will lead us in prayer and meditation as we examine our 2020 theme, "Arise, for the task is yours... Take courage and do it". A light breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. with the day's program to follow, and then concluding around midday with an informal Eucharist. We hope that you'll find time to join us for this very special morning.
Sunday mornings during Lent, from 9:15-10:30 a.m.
This new series is a part of Christ Church's larger Journey to Better Health program, where ways to improve our well-being will be explored in-depth during these Adult Forum seminars. We'll gather in Old Brick.
Each Monday evening at 6:00 p.m.
On Mondays, Christ Church provides Centering Prayer in Old Brick. This is a prayer method based on the intuitive prayer rooted in Lectio Divina, silent worship that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer in which we experience the Divine’s immanent presence with us. Centering Prayer is grounded in our relationship with God, through Christ, and is a practice to help nurture that relationship. We hope that you will come and be a part of this gathering of reflection.
Wednesday mornings starting at 10:30 a.m.
Weekly Bible Study takes place on Wednesdays each week, and we meet in the Vestry Room, located on the lower level of New Brick. As a group, we are currently studying Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians. You don’t have to know much about the Bible to join us, as we are all studying together. All are always welcome.
Wednesday evenings during Lent
The Spiritual Life Commission invites all to attend this informative series, which is centered around our 2020 Theme: "Arise, for the task is yours... Take courage and do it."
March 4th – The Reverend Walter Earl Mullins
March 11th – The Reverend Kirk Kubicek
March 18th – The Right Reverend Robert W. Ilhoff
March 25th – The Reverend Richard Ginnever
April 1st – The Reverend Emmanuel A. Mercer
This potluck gathering will be generously provided by a different Christ Church group each week. We will have a potluck dinner from 6:30-7:15 p.m., followed by our presenter from 7:00 p.m., and conclude with an informal Eucharist. All are welcome to this unique and special gathering of fellowship, discussion, and prayer.
Thursdays at 12:00 noon
Every Thursday, we provide a midday Healing Eucharist in Old Brick. This service includes readings, prayers, a litany for healing, and the Holy Eucharist. Parishioners and non-parishioners are all welcome to attend this lovely and intimate service. Please come in to reflect, pray, and participate in the Eucharist in our beautiful, historic chapel.
Thursdays beginning on March 5th at 7:00 p.m.
It is a blessing for us to host this Lenten Compline, and we hope that all of you can join us in Old Brick. This feature of our rich Anglican liturgical tradition is part of our common life throughout the Lenten season at Christ Church.
Holy Week Services
Church is open for prayer each and every day, Monday-Friday, during Holy Week.
Sunday, April 5th
Holy Eucharist at 8:00 & 10:30 a.m.
Liturgy of Palms begins at Old Brick (weather permitting).
There will be distribution of Palms at both services.
Monday, April 6th @ 7:30 p.m. in New Brick
We remember and recount the Stations Of The Cross on Monday evening. Walk with us, and recall the way of the Passion in this ancient service. Prayers are offered at the eight stations, each depicting specific events of our Lord’s arrest, trial, crucifixion and death. Paintings by Kelmie Snider.
Tuesday, April 7th @ 7:30 p.m. in New Brick
We celebrate Tuesday in Holy Week with a beautiful, yet solemn, Liturgical Dance performance. Come and embrace the Passion of Our Lord as we travel into a week made “holy” forever by the self-surrendering love of Jesus; for us all, we remember how He loved us. Whatever we do, no matter how busy or “distracted” we might be, we can always let the power of this week be in the background of our daily reflections, and let it become a “holy” week. On this evening, allow us to help you quiet the distractions and connect with the graces of this week. Through movement, reflections, and music, Lumen Christi provide a meditative evening to rest your mind and strengthen your soul.
Wednesday, April 8th @ 7:30 p.m. in New Brick
As Jesus draws ever closer to the events of Good Friday, the church readies itself by the reading of the service of Tenebrae, taken from the monastic tradition. In this Wednesday evening service, a candelabrum with fifteen candles is used, and one by one the candles are extinguished, until the only light remaining symbolizes the light of Christ. This light is taken and hid for a moment, as Christ was laid in the tomb. Then, as a loud noise resembling that of the earthquake is heard, the light is returned to its stand. In silence, and by the light of only that single candle, the congregation exits.
Thursday, April 9th
On this evening of Maundy Thursday, we gather together to bring into remembrance the Last Supper of our Lord and the Institution of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. We hear and remember the words of Jesus as he states, “Do this in remembrance of me.” As the service concludes, the altar is stripped of all of its appointments, so that the focus of all can be upon the cross alone on the following day, Good Friday. We then hear of the Agony in the Garden, as Jesus is arrested. The Watch then takes place through the night, as in response to our Lord’s question: “Could you not watch with me one hour?”
5:00 p.m. Seder meal in New Brick
7:30 p.m. Eucharist in New Brick, with foot-washing and stripping of Altar
9:00 p.m. Vigil in Old Brick
Friday, April 10th
Christians throughout the world recall Good Friday as the day upon which Jesus died. As it remembers the great sinfulness of man, it also points to the glory and love of God. It is most somber in its offering, and includes the Veneration of the Cross, another ancient custom of the Church. A plain wooden cross is carried into the church and is held before us. The congregation is then invited to come forward in reverence of the cross - by touching of the wood, a simple bow, a genuflection, or the act of kissing the wood of the cross.
The noonday service lasts one hour, and draws our attention to the extraordinary love that God has for each of us in giving His son to die upon the cross. The evening service is fifteen minutes longer, as we also receive communion from the Sacrament Reserved. Church tradition prohibits the celebration of the Eucharist on this day.
12:00 noon and 7:30 p.m. Veneration of the Cross and Eucharist in New Brick
Saturday, April 11th @ 7:30 p.m. in New Brick
As the church awaits the glory of the resurrection, Holy Saturday is a day of preparation. As the sun sets, bringing with it the end of the Lenten season, one of the most beautiful services of the entire church year is held. We begin in utter darkness, signifying Christ in the tomb, and then a new fire is lighted & blessed and with it the Paschal Candle symbolizing Christ. As the Paschal Candle is carried into the church, the light is passed to parishioners who each hold a candle.
As the church is illumined by just candlelight, the ancient hymn The Exsultet is sung. Then, within that light, lessons are read which remind us of God’s desire for man’s salvation. The Sacrament of Holy Baptism takes central focus for the priesthood of all believers and then we celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter. The darkness is now full light!
Christ Church will also host a Baptism on this day. Families who are interested in having children baptized at this service are invited to email us.
7:30 p.m. in New Brick - Easter Vigil and Eucharist, Lighting of the New Fire, and Baptisms
Saturday, April 12th @ 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
We have now reached Easter Day – a day of joy, celebration and the gift of life to God’s people.
There are three services today – at 8:00, 9:00, and 11:30 a.m. At the 9:00 service, children are invited to bring a flower to help decorate the cross. This is also the day for everyone to bring their mite boxes.
This liturgy is followed by our traditional Easter Egg Hunt for young children.
At the 9:00 and 11:30 services, a full choir and procession with all of the ritual appointed for the day helps us celebrate and express our joy. The Easter sermon is given; the choir anthems are spectacular, and the glory of the day radiates from our worship into the community.
8:00 a.m. - Eucharist in Old Brick
9:00 a.m. - Eucharist with Hymns in New Brick
10:30 a.m. - Children's Easter Egg Hunt
11:30 a.m. - Solemn Festival Eucharist with Hymns in New Brick