The Meaning of Lent
at Christ Church
Historically, Lent is a 40-day period of Christ-centered devotion between Ash Wednesday (March 2nd this year) and Easter Sunday (April 17th).
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
Below is a brief outline of the Lenten activities and it will be updated as necessary. To receive the latest details and Zoom links, please sign up for our email newsletters. You can also check our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for the latest Christ Church news and updates on worship services, fellowship events, virtual gatherings, outreach opportunities, and Lenten Meditations.
You are always welcome to join us online at Christ Church,
and we hope that you will do so often.
Holy Week Services
This year, services take place in-person and online during Holy Week, from Palm Sunday (April 10th) through Easter Sunday (April 17th). Current public health guidelines allow us to offer in-person worship for every Holy Week service (except morning and evening prayer livestreams). All social distancing and safety protocols will be strictly followed.
Sunday, April 10th in New Brick
Holy Eucharist at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m.
Meditations on the Passion of Christ at 7:30 p.m.
The Church has preserved this celebration and enters into Jesus’ triumphal arrival to Jerusalem through the liturgy and celebration of Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. Palm Sunday sets the tone for Holy Week as one of ultimate victory and joy. It holds special significance because it is the beginning of one liturgical movement that arcs through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. The palms are an ancient symbol of triumph and victory and will be distributed at all services.
Wednesday, April 13th @ 7:30 p.m. in New Brick
and livestreamed on our website, YouTube, and Facebook
As Jesus draws ever closer to the events of Good Friday, the church readies itself with a special Tenebrae service. Join us in the New Brick Sanctuary as we prepare for the days that follow, and the journey ahead.
Thursday, April 14th in New Brick
Seder meal at 6:00 p.m.
Holy Eucharist at 7:30 p.m.
On this evening of Maundy Thursday, we gather together beginning with a 6:00 p.m. Seder meal 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?”
Friday, April 15th
Holy Eucharist at 12 noon and 7:30 p.m. in New Brick
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, drawing 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.
Saturday, April 16th
Easter Vigil with Holy Baptism at 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 and brings us towards 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, each one holding a candle.
As the church is illumined by candlelight, the ancient hymn The Exsultet is sung. 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 then becomes full light!
Saturday, April 17th
Holy Eucharist at 8:00 a.m. in Old Brick
9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in New Brick
We have now reached Easter Day – the feast of Christ’s resurrection. It is a day of joy, celebration, and the gift of life to God’s people.
The 8:00 a.m. Eucharist will take place in Old Brick. At the 9:00 and 11:00 services, a dynamic and vibrant choir is present, with all of the rituals appointed for the day to help 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.
All information subject to change.
Check back often or sign up below to receive the latest updates in our weekly newslettter.
Past Lenten Events
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
March 1st at 6:30 p.m.
in the Great Hall of New Brick
Everyone is welcome to join the Christ Church Youth Group as we host the 2022 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras Pancake Supper. If you would like to attend, please sign up here. Ticket prices are on the form, and you can process payment by using our online giving form. Simply select Youth Ministry from the FUND dropdown menu and write "Shrove Tuesday" in the MEMO line. Questions? Contact us any time.
March 2nd @ 7:00 a.m., 12 noon, and 7:30 p.m.
On Ash Wednesday, 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 of Lent, we will have in-person Ash Wednesday services at 7:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 7:30 p.m. (masks are required while on campus). The morning service is in Old Brick, and the latter two are in New Brick, as well as livestreamed on our website, YouTube, and Facebook pages. And weather permitting, we will have Ashes to Go in the morning, as well, when you can drive up on your way to work or school and have ashes administered to your forehead. This will take place before the first service, beginning at 6 a.m.
Saturday, March 12th @ 8:30 a.m.
This second Saturday in Lent will set the stage for our Lenten Reflection Day, beginning at 8:30 a.m. This year, we are very blessed to have the Reverend Marcia Davenport, Associate Priest at Christ Church, lead us in prayer and meditation with her program, Out of the Desert: A Lenten Journey. Following a casual breakfast and the morning's gathering will be an informal Eucharist and takes place in Old Brick. We hope that you'll find time to join us for this solemn and special morning.
You can learn more about Mother Marcia here.
Taizé Worship Services
with the Rev. Marcia Davenport
Every Friday during Lent
at 6:00 p.m. in Old Brick
Beginning on Friday, March 4th, CEC will offer a series of six Taizé worship services including chants, prayers, Scripture, intercessory prayer, and silence. Mother Marcia, a long-time adherent to the Taizé community and a frequent visitor, will lead the service. This form of worship, based on the practice of the Taizé community in France, offers a time of quiet and intentional reflection, worship, and drawing closer to the Presence of God in Christ Jesus.
The founder of the Taizé community, Brother Roger, explains: "What we usually call 'worship' the Taizé community simply calls 'Prayer'. Taizé Prayer consists of 'short chants, repeated again and again, giving them a meditative character. Using just a few words, they express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being. Meditative singing thus becomes a way of listening to God."
Every weekday between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday
The 2022 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 this year: "Be One Body in Christ, Belonging to Each Other." Check back each weekday as daily meditations will be posted here on our website, and on our social media pages, throughout the Lenten season. You can also pick up a printed copy of our 92-page, 2022 Lenten Meditation Book in the Christ Church Narthex while supplies last.
Weekday Morning and Evening Prayer
Monday - Friday Mornings at 7:00 a.m.
Friday Evenings at 7:00 p.m.
(official holidays excepted)
Our dedicated and wonderful Christ Church parishioners continue to host Morning and Evening Prayer worship throughout Lent. You can join us every weekday morning and on Wednesday and Friday evenings. This brief service livestream helps to re-center us as we begin and conclude our days.
Lectionary Bible Study
Wednesdays @ 10:30 a.m. on Zoom
Bible Study takes place on Zoom each Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. and is a group discussion on the readings for that coming Sunday. You do not have to know much about the Bible; just join in and let's all study together. If you're interested, simply gather with us online any Wednesday morning. The Zoom link is in our weekly email; sign up below to receive these.
Adult Forum: Sunday Circle
Every Sunday Morning at 9:30 a.m. in New Brick
Our popular Sunday morning Adult Forum series continues through Lent with a new cycle of topics based on the History of Women in the Church. Starting on March 6th at 9:30 a.m. in the Great Hall (lower level) of New Brick, we will explore Women of the Bible followed on the 13th with Medieval Women of Note in the Church. Then on the 20th, we'll explore Formative Women in the Church, Women in Outreach in the Church on March 27th, and wrap up on April 3rd by discussing Contemporary Women in our Church. The group will be facilitated by Jenn Lavanish and Mother Marcia, and suggestions and input from participants are always welcome. All adults are invited to take part in this brief and engaging gathering, so please join us for this interesting look at how the presence of notable women in our Scripture and Church history has shaped our understanding of these people of Christ and the work of His Church.
Sundays at 2:00 p.m. on Zoom
Christ Church will offer Confirmation classes for all high school students and adults who may be interested in being confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church. It is our plan to temporarily hold these classes online beginning March 6th at 2:00 p.m. and every Sunday through Lent. Then our candidates will be confirmed by one of the Bishops of Maryland later this year; we'll share the date when it becomes available. If you are interested in learning more about Confirmation and/or registering for the class, please reach out to Fr. Manny at firstname.lastname@example.org