top of page
Holy Week

The Meaning of
Lent

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 Episcopal 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.

Lent Anchor

Our Lenten

Services and Gatherings

Below are some of the services and gatherings that will be held at Christ Church during this 2024 Lenten season.  More information can be found in our Sunday service leaflets, our weekly Christ Church Gatherings email that's sent on Thursdays, and other documents located in the Narthex of New Brick.

 

You are always welcome at Christ Episcopal Church,

and we hope that you will join us often.

Daily Lenten Meditations

Every weekday between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday

The 2024 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 this year, Be an Instrument of God's Peace.  Be sure to check back each weekday, as daily meditations will be posted here on our website and our social media pages throughout the Lenten season.  Printed copies of our LMB are also available in the church's Narthex beginning on February 11th.

It's not too late to get your submissions in for this year's LMB.  Each year, it centers on the Spiritual Life Theme for that year, and so ours for 2024 is Be a Joyful Gift to Others, which you can read a bit more about on our website. Poems, quotes, stories of reflection, images, prayers, and inspirational pieces by writers or theologians - they all come together to make up this special booklet, one that you can take home with you and use each day during the season. You can submit these by name or anonymously - your choice. If you need help getting started, visit christchurchcolumbia.org/lenten-meditations and check out previous years' reflections. Submit yours by email to SL@christchurchcolumbia.org or place it in the Spiritual Life mailbox in the Church office.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

February 13 @ 6:00 p.m. in New Brick Lower Level

The incredible youth of Christ Church will once again host our annual Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras Pancake Supper on February 13th! Join us in the Great Hall of New Brick for this traditional start to the Lenten season. Serving begins at around 6:30 p.m. and will be available until approximately 7:30 p.m. We'll also have a live steel band performing! Tickets for this event are $15. for an individual and $25. for a family, and you can pay using cash at the door, or by using our online giving form (choose “Shrove Tuesday Dinner” in the FUND dropdown menu). Tickets are also available if you come to church on a prior Sunday. This event is also your final opportunity to view and purchase the beautiful handiwork of African Team Ministries, one-of-a-kind pieces created by very talented artisans.

Ash Wednesday

February 14

Ashes to Go at 6:00 am.

7:00 a.m. service in Old Brick

12 noon & 7:30 p.m. services in New Brick

Ash Wednesday reminds us of our mortality and of what we are made of. To get our thoughts and ourselves ready and prepared for Lent, Christ Church offers worship with the Imposition of Ashes on Wednesday, February 14th at 7:00 a.m. in Old Brick, and then at 12 noon and 7:30 p.m. in the New Brick Sanctuary. We‘ll also livestream the 12:00 and 7:30 p.m. services on our website, YouTube, and Facebook pages. 

And this year, Ashes to Go takes place for those working commuters, students, and early risers to stop by and receive Ashes as they start their day. We will offer a short prayer and administer them to those who cannot be with us in worship that morning, but who desire the Ashes nonetheless. Simply look for the Ashes to Go signs on the lawn by the driveway, and stop by beginning at 6 a.m.

Lenten Reflection Day

February 17 @ 8:30 a.m. in Old Brick

Christ Church’s Spiritual Life Commission presents Lenten Reflection Day on Saturday, February 17th. This year, we are very blessed to have The Reverend Kirk Kubicek lead us in prayer and meditation as we examine our 2024 theme, Be a Joyful Gift to Others. Lenten Reflection Day includes a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m., is followed by the day’s program, and then wraps up around noon with an informal Eucharist. We hope that you'll find time to join us for this exceptional and inspirational start to the Lenten season. 

Sunday Mornings at Christ Church

8:00 a.m. in Old Brick

Family Worship at 9:00 a.m. in New Brick

Holy Eucharist with Music and Choir at 10:30 a.m. in New Brick

Except for Easter Sunday, Christ Church's Sunday morning schedule remains the same as always, with three worship services and many formation and fellowship gatherings for all ages.  You can learn more about the Sunday schedule on our website's Sunday Mornings at Christ Church page and can receive more details each week in our Christ Church Gatherings email.

Adult Forum: Sunday Circle

Addiction and Spirituality

Sunday mornings in Old Brick from 9:30-10:15 a.m.

Lent is a period where we prepare ourselves with prayer, fasting, repentance, spiritual discipline, and self-denial. During the 2024 season of Lent, Sunday Circle will explore addiction in its many forms, and how

"Addiction is a spiritual disease; a disease of the soul, an illness resulting from longing, frustrated desire and a deep dissatisfaction, which is, ironically, the necessary beginning of any spiritual path." ~Richard Rohr

From shopping and social media to drugs and alcohol, addiction takes many forms, and no one among us hasn't been affected - directly or indirectly - by addiction. Christ Church will explore how we can take inventory of ourselves and better manage these shortcomings.

We also have Bible Study and other Adult Formation gatherings every Sunday morning. You can learn more about those hereWe invite everyone to join us for this powerful and insightful series.

Weekday Morning and Evening Prayer

Monday - Friday mornings at 7:00 a.m.

Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m.

on the main page of our website and Facebook

A wide range of dedicated and extraordinary Christ Church parishioners continue to host Morning and Evening Prayer worship throughout the season of Lent. You can join us every weekday morning, and also on Friday evenings. This brief service livestream helps to re-center us as we begin and conclude our days.

Centering Prayer

Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom

Centering Prayer is a special evening gathering that helps us be present and open to God. The practice of this prayer could lead to a more intimate union with God and a more powerful experience of God’s presence in our lives. This active presence heals, transforms, and offers freedom and peace. Join us in Old Brick at 7:00 on Monday evenings, but you can also take part virtually from wherever you are. You'll find the Zoom details in our weekly emails or Sunday bulletin, or you can email centering@christchurchcolumbia.org and we'll send them to you. It's a restorative experience, so come and be a part of this gathering of reflection.

Lectionary Bible Study and Lunch

Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. in the Parish House Conference Room

Each week, our Wednesday Lectionary Bible Study meets in the Conference Room of the Parish House, explores the Lectionary readings for that Sunday, and then has lunch together at a local restaurant. Gather with us beginning at 10:00 a.m. each week. Bible Study and will be led by the Christ Church clergy and/or postulants, and you can find each week's readings here.

Wednesday Evening Lenten Supper Series

Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of New Brick

One of the most cherished traditions at Christ Church during the season of Lent is the Wednesday Evening Lenten Supper Series, one of the most enriching Lenten experiences of the season. We are always thankful to the members of the Spiritual Life Commission, who work so hard to put this event together. This series offers five weeks of insightful and life-transforming seminars on our theme for this year, Be a Joyful Gift to Others, a theme inspired by Romans 12:6-8 and 2 Corinthians 9:7.

The clergy presenters for this year are:

February 21: The Right Reverend Eugene Sutton

February 28: The Reverend Earl Mullins

March 6: The Reverend Richard Ginnever

March 13: The Reverend Barbara Seras

March 20: The Reverend Emmanuel Ato Mercer

We begin each evening at 6:30 p.m. with a communal supper in the Great Hall - each week, a different ministry will provide the potluck meal - followed by our guest presenter. The evening then concludes with a brief, informal Eucharist. 

Lenten Healing Eucharist

Thursdays at 12:00 noon in Old Brick

Each Thursday during Lent, Christ Church offers 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 join in a prayerful time in the presence of God, and to share in the wonderful mystery of God’s love whilst we seek healing for ourselves and our loved ones.  Please come in to reflect, pray, and participate in a service held in our beautiful, historic chapel.

Lenten Taizé Vespers

Every Sunday during Lent at 6:00 p.m. in the New Brick Sanctuary

Each Sunday evening, Christ Church offers a service of contemplative prayer and music in the tradition of the Taizé community of France. This community promotes peace and justice through prayer and meditation. Our Taizé Vespers service mirrors Taizé-style attention to silence, holy words, prayer, and singing, and offers a chance to meditate and reflect on God's love and presence in one's life, to offer prayer for oneself and others, and to share in a supportive community of fellow pilgrims on the way.  

Schedule subject to change

Holy Week

at Christ Episcopal Church

This year, Palm Sunday is on March 24th, and is followed by Holy Week, the most sacred period of our Christian faith. This is when the foundational story of Christianity – Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection – is remembered and retold, both in words and in ritual actions, at services throughout the week. We gather together as a community of faith to journey with Jesus to Jerusalem, to stand with him before his accusers, to walk to Golgotha, and to stand at the foot of his cross. Finally, on Easter Sunday, we will joyously celebrate the resurrection of Christ, lifting our voices in praise of the hope that is ours and the world’s.

 

From earliest times, Christians have observed the week before Easter as a time of special devotion. The heart of Holy Week observance is the three holy days, or Triduum, of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, and Christ Church has services on each of these days.

Join us for all of it, if you can, remembering that without the journey of Holy Week, Easter loses its deep meaning.

Holy Week Services

Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 24

Holy Eucharist at 8:00, 9:00, & 10:30 a.m.

Liturgy of Palms begins at Old Brick (weather permitting).

The holiest of weeks begins with Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday. Here the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is recalled, and yet, the liturgy quickly shifts to the events of the week that lead Jesus to his arrest, trial, and death on the cross. The congregation gathers in Old Brick, processes to New Brick with blessed palm leaves, and joins in the reading of the Gospel narrative in parts. The liturgy ends in quietness; a stark contrast to the joy of the procession. And with this, our Holy Week journey begins.

Meditations on the Passion

Sunday, March 24

at 6:00 p.m. in New Brick

This Palm Sunday evening, Christ Church will present Meditations on the Passion, a special service of poems, readings, dance (courtesy of our Lumen Christi liturgical dance ministry), song, and prayer.  Join us at 6:00 p.m. in the New Brick Sanctuary as we contemplate the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in a way that makes us realize the immense love He has for each one of us, a love that is capable of suffering and death in order to free us from our sins.

Tenebrae

Wednesday, March 27

7:00 p.m. in New Brick

As Jesus draws ever closer to the events of Good Friday, the church readies itself by reading 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 hidden 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.

Maundy Thursday

Thursday, March 28

5:00 p.m. Seder meal in New Brick

7:00 p.m. Eucharist in New Brick, with foot-washing and stripping of Altar

9:00 p.m. Vigil in Old Brick

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 for one hour?”

Good Friday

Friday, March 29

7:00 a.m. in Old Brick

12:00 noon and 7:00 p.m. Veneration of the Cross and Eucharist 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 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 on the cross.  The evening service is slightly longer, as we also receive communion from the Sacrament Reserved.  Church tradition prohibits the celebration of the Eucharist on this day.

Holy Saturday

Easter Vigil and Eucharist, Lighting of the New Fire, and Baptisms

Saturday, March 30

7:00 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 lit & blessed, and with it the Paschal Candle symbolizing Christ.  As the Paschal Candle is carried into the church, the light is passed to parishioners whom 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 on the priesthood of all believers and then we celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter.  The darkness is now full light! 

 

This year, March 30th is also the Day of Confirmation. In Confirmation, a baptized Christian makes "a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop." (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 857)  This year, Christ Church will welcome the Right Reverend Carrie Schofield-Broadbent to our parish for the first time. Confirmation classes have already begun, but families who are interested in having children baptized at this service are invited to email us.

Easter Sunday

Sunday, March 31

8:00 a.m., in Old Brick

9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. with music and choir in New Brick

We have now reached Easter Day – a day of joy, celebration, and the gift of life to God’s people.

There are three services this morning, and you are welcome to be with us at 8:00, 9:00, and 11:00 a.m.

At the 9:00 and 11:00 services, a full choir and procession with all of the rituals appointed for the day 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.

Celebrations on this day include the annual Easter Egg Hunt, as well as the Flowering of the Cross. These are beloved celebrations for the youngest among us, and the rest of us ensure a safe and fun time for all. Please be sure to bring your basket or bag for the egg hunt!  Flowers will be provided.

bottom of page