The Meaning of Lent
at Christ Church
Historically, Lent is a 40-day period of Christ-centered devotion between Ash Wednesday (February 17th this year) and Easter Sunday (April 4th).
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
At the time of this writing, we are adhering to all social distancing protocols and will host each service, presentation, and gathering virtually. Below is a brief outline of the Lenten activities and it will be updated as necessary. To receive the latest details, please sign up for our emails by completing the brief form at the bottom of our website. Also be sure to check our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for the latest Christ Church news and updates on worship services, fellowship gatherings, and Lenten Meditations.
You are always welcome to join us online at Christ Church,
and we hope that you will do so often.
* All Zoom virtual gatherings below are denoted by an asterisk. The details and link to upcoming Zoom sessions will be in our weekly emails. If you'd like to receive these emails, please tell us at email@example.com or complete the brief form at the bottom of the main page of this website.
Every weekday between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday
The 2021 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 God's Light that Shines in the Darkness." Check back each weekday, as daily meditations will be posted here on our website, and on our social media pages, throughout the Lenten season.
Weekday Morning and Evening Prayer
Mornings: M-F at 7:00 a.m.
Evenings: M, W, F at 7:00 p.m.
Christ Church continues to host Morning and Evening Prayer worship throughout Lent. You can join us every weekday morning and on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. This 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.
Wednesday Evening Lenten Series
Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom*
The Spiritual Life Commission invites everyone to join us virtually for our annual Wednesday Evening Lenten Series, This popular series will center on our 2021 theme, Be God’s Light that Shines in the Darkness. Each week, we will host a different presenter who gives their perspective on this theme.
February 24th - The Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff
Assistant Bishop, Diocese of Maryland
March 3rd - The Rev. Kirk Kubicek
March 10th - The Rev. Richard Ginnever
Rector Emeritus, Christ Episcopal Church
March 17th - Professor Lesley DiFransico
March 24th - The Rev. Emmanuel Ato Mercer
Rector, Christ Episcopal Church
Each Wednesday evening begins with a brief introduction at 7:30 p.m. followed by that week’s presentation and then concludes with an informal Eucharist. This event is held on Zoom*, and the details and link will be in each Monday’s This Week on Zoom email. We hope that you’ll join us for this exceptional series of fellowship, discussion, and prayer.
Christ Church Book Discussion Group
Fridays at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom*
This friendly and engaging virtual gathering will collectively discuss two books by C.S. Lewis during Lent; The Screwtape Letters begins this series on February 26th and is then followed by Mere Christianity a few weeks later. Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and one of the most influential writers of his day. Our Zoom* discussions take place for about 90 minutes on a weekly basis, covering 40-45 pages per week. We assign sections to different members of the group as primary presenters and then the rest of the group contributes to the lively and insightful discussion. All are welcome, and you can join us any week; if you’re interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adult Inquirer's & Confirmation Class
Sundays at 2:00 p.m. on Zoom*
Each Sunday afternoon, Father Manny and Deacon Denise lead our Adult Inquirer's and Confirmation Class, and all interested persons are invited to join us as we continue to meet throughout this Lenten season. This is in preparation for Bishop Sutton’s planned visit to Christ Episcopal Church on Sunday, May 23rd.
If you have a desire to learn more about our Christian Faith and The Episcopal Church, please join us on Zoom* at 2:00 p.m. each and every Sunday. Please email the Church Office for more information.
Two Evenings at the Kitchen Table
with Dr. Harolyn Belcher
February 23rd and March 2nd at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom*
Dr. Harolyn Belcher, a Christ Church parishioner, Professor of Pediatrics, and Vice President at Johns Hopkins Hospital invites us to join her on Zoom* for a pair of Tuesday evenings - February 23rd and March 2nd - at 7:30 p.m. each night. The virtual gathering on February 23rd will be centered around the latest COVID-19 vaccine information and March 2nd focuses on how we all can help to ensure child and youth health and well-being. We hope that you all will join us for this important Zoom series.
Nurturing the Light Within
with the Rev. Dr. Jill Snodgrass
March 6th and 13th at 11:00 a.m. on Zoom*
Join us for an hour on consecutive Saturdays - March 6th and 13th - for a guided discussion on self-care and spiritual care practices that foster health and wellness during this time of continuing isolation and turmoil. The Reverend Dr. Jill Snodgrass, professor of theology at Loyola University, a pastoral counselor and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and Clinical Director of Spiritual Support at GBMC hospital, will lead us in exploring ways to nurture and care for ourselves spiritually and emotionally during dark times, including strategies for managing stress and anxiety in our lives.
Holy Week Services
We will be publishing our Holy Week schedule in late February. Please check back often.
Past Services and Gatherings
February 17th @ 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 Ash Wednesday service livestreams at 7:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 7:30 p.m. Although in-person worship is not possible at this time, Father Manny and Deacon Denise will be on the Christ Church campus for 30-60 minutes after each service to safely sprinkle ashes for any interested parishioners who stop by (masks are required).
Saturday, February 20th @ 10:00 a.m.
This first Saturday in Lent will set the stage for our Lenten Reflection Day, beginning at 10 a.m. This year, we are very blessed to be joined by The Reverend Earl Mullins, Interim Rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Leesburg, Virginia. He will lead us in prayer and meditation as we examine our 2021 theme, "Be God's Light that Shines in the Darkness." Following the morning's program will be an informal Eucharist. This virtual gathering takes place on Zoom*, and we will email the link and details a few days prior. We hope that you'll find time to join us for this solemn and special morning.
You can learn more about Reverend Mullins here.