Tag Archives: Lent

Good Friday – April 15th, 2022

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join the service, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream will begin at 10 am, and the service will remain viewable on YouTube thereafter.

You’re encouraged to keep the order of service handy: it has responses and hymn texts so you can join in as fully as possible from afar.

Pen & Ink drawing of Christ on the Cross

What’s so good about Good Friday? It gets its name from Old English: Gōd Frīġedæġ — God’s Friday. Today is the second part of our celebration of the Triduum–the Great Three Days–as we remember the trial, execution, death, and burial of Jesus. Together these events are often referred to as the Passion of Our Lord.

The first part of our service this day takes the form of the Way of the Cross: a series of short readings and prayers as we hear the proclamation of Jesus’s Passion, from his being condemned to death through his burial in the tomb.

In response to the Passion, we enter the second portion of the service: the Veneration of the Cross. Those worshipping in person may choose to come forward and bow before, or otherwise reverence, the large wooden cross that will be brought into the church; at home, you may wish to have a cross nearby to support your reflection. During the Veneration, we will share in reciting the Reproaches: remonstrances that lament our culpability in Jesus’s Passion and death.

Finally, the reserved sacrament–consecrated at our Maundy Thursday service the night before–will be brought back into the church from the altar of repose. We will receive the eucharist in silence, and then depart in that silence, awed at what God undertakes for us.

Maundy Thursday – April 14th, 2022 at 7 pm

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join in worshipping on Maundy Thursday, live or later, via YouTube. The live stream will begin at 6:45 pm with a welcome, followed by prelude music. The service will begin at 7 pm. The service will be posted to YouTube once the live stream concludes, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining the service via the live stream, keep this order of service handy! It has all the responses and hymn texts you’ll need, together with some prayers you might choose to use to make spiritual communion during the reception of the eucharist.

Coptic Icon of the Footwashing

Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the Triduum–the Great Three Days, in which we celebrate Jesus giving his life on the cross and conquering sin and death, raising us with him to new life in the resurrection.

It’s a busy night! We hear of the institution of the First Passover from the book of Exodus (12.1–14).

Next, we’ll hear John’s description of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and giving them an example of the kind of servant life we are called to (John 13.1–17). Larry Collinson will offer a short reflection on the passage, and then offer the foot washing to all who wish to participate.

Then we hear the portion of John’s gospel that gives this day its name, as Jesus gives the new commandment to the disciples. (John 13.31–35). The Latin word ‘mandatum’ means commandment, and from mandatum we get the shortened form, ‘Maundy.’ Canon Mike Deed will be with us to offer a brief reflection, and then we’ll embody the instruction to love one another as we share the peace.

Coptic Icon of the Institution of the Eucharist

Our final portion of Scripture in this section of the service is the description to the Corinthians of the Institution of the Eucharist. (1 Corinthians 11.23–26). Our rector will offer a short reflection, and we will celebrate the Eucharist.

After all have received, the sacrament is placed into a monstrance. (More Latin: monstrare means ‘to show,’ and the monstrance is a vessel to show the Eucharist to adoring worshippers). A procession takes the sacrament out of the church and into the chapel as we sing a hymn.

A photo of the Garden of Gethsemane, 2017.

Finally, we hear one more portion of Scripture: Matthew recounts how Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, before being betrayed and arrested. (Matthew 26.30–50) While this passage is read, members of the parish strip the chancel and the sanctuary of their adornments. The rector washes the altar, and we depart in silence.

It’s helpful to think of the liturgy of the Tridduum as one service with a couple of distinct movements, like in a symphony. There is no blessing or dismissal as we make our way this night; nor will there be either on Good Friday. Instead, we wait–meditating on the staggering gift of God’s love for us, revealed in Our Lord’s Passion.

Sunday of the Passion with Liturgy of the Palms

Sunday, April 10th

A note about continuing Covid protocols. All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need you to preregister, and you will be able to choose your own seat. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support people who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone, without exception, must wear masks properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream begins at 9:45 with a welcome, followed by prelude music. The service will then begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining the service via the live-stream, keep this order of service handy! It has all the responses and hymn texts you’ll need, together with some special prayers you might choose to use during the reception of the eucharist.

Coptic Icon of the Triumphal Entry

This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. Our service will begin in the narthex with the Liturgy of the Palms, and then we’ll process into the church singing “All Glory, Laud and Honour.”

From the Hebrew scriptures, we’ll hear from the prophet Isaiah. This is the third of four of what are often called Servant Songs in Isaiah; this one speaks of the servant of the Lord submitting to suffering. (Isaiah 50.4-9a)

Then from the gospels, we’ll hear Luke’s account of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. (Luke 19.28-40) Though we often call today Palm Sunday, Luke’s description of the moment doesn’t mention anything about palm branches! He focuses instead on the people laying their cloaks on the road before Jesus’s path, and their rejoicing in the new future they hope that Jesus will bring.

Here’s what Sundays and Seasons says about this day and its readings:

Today we follow Christ from triumphal entry to the cross, each waypoint of the journey marked by Jesus’ compassion for those who would betray, mock, accuse, or do violence to him. Though persecuted and beaten, Jesus the Son of God is not disgraced; instead, he asks forgiveness for those who put him to death. We have walked the Lenten pathway these forty days, each of us invited through baptism to “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” We enter this holy week accompanying Jesus to the cross with both grief and thanksgiving in our hearts, trusting in God’s redeeming love.

Be sure to join in Holy Week Services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, too!

Sunday, April 3 – Fifth Sunday in Lent

A note about continuing Covid protocols. All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need you to preregister, and you will be able to choose your own seat. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support people who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors. Everyone, without exception, must wear masks properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube! We’ll continue to offer a welcome at about 9:45, followed by some prelude music. The service will begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining via the live-stream, keep this order of service handy! It has all the responses and hymn texts you’ll need, together with some special prayers you might choose to use during the reception of the eucharist.

Mary anoints Jesus's feet
Mary anoints Jesus’s feet

From the Hebrew scriptures we hear a powerful reminder from the prophet Isaiah of what God is up to: something new and transformative, and we are invited to notice and delight in God’s goodness toward us. (Isaiah 43.16-21)

The gospel passage startles us with its intimacy. Shortly before the crucifixion, Jesus comes to dine at the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Mary takes an astonishing amount of perfume and anoints Jesus’s feet, and then wipes them with her own hair. (John 12.1-8) She anticipates the new thing God is doing through Jesus as she anoints him for burial.

Image Attributions and Permissions:

The image we use in this post is from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. It’s a work entitled “Extravagant Love,” written by the iconographer Mary Jane Miller, and first shared in her book Life in Christ 2021, Knowledge of God made visible in Jesus the Man. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=59683 [retrieved April 1, 2022]. Original source: https://www.millericons.com/. We use this image under the provisions of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 3.0 License.

Sunday, March 27th – Mothering Sunday (Fourth Sunday in Lent)

Covid Protocols: starting this week, you no longer need to pre-register to participate in in-person worship. Masks must be worn properly at all times inside the building. We have left the pews on one side of the church blocked for physical distancing, to ensure that those people who feel more comfortable maintaining physical distancing know that they are fully welcome in our worship services. We will continue to live-stream the 10 o’clock Eucharist each Sunday.

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube! We’ll continue to offer a welcome at about 9:45, followed by some prelude music. The service will begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining from afar, keep this order of service handy to enable you to participate in the service. It has all the responses, the hymn texts, and special prayers you might choose to use while those attending in-person receive the eucharist.

This week we hear of a promise fulfilled: the people celebrate Passover and eat the fruits of the promised land as their forty years’ journey through the desert ends at Gilgal (Joshua 5.9-12).

In the gospel, we’ll hear a familiar story that still provokes us to astonishment at God’s grace. A young man insults his father and family and society, wanders far away and squanders his inheritance, and decides to repent and return home and beg for forgiveness–only to be welcomed with staggering generosity beyond anything he imagined, much to the chagrin of his older brother! (Luke 15.1-3, 11b-32). Here’s a short list of some of the names this story has been given:

Frank Wesley's "Forgiving Father"
  • the Parable of the Two Sons and their Loving Father
  • the Parable of the Father’s Love
  • a Parable of the Lost
  • the Parable of the Prodigal SonS

Why so many names, and not the first one that might jump to mind? Well, perhaps by referring to this story differently, we try to open ourselves to other aspects of what Jesus is teaching about who God is and how God chooses to be with us. Share with us your thoughts about this passage after spending time reading it and praying with it!

The Fourth Sunday in Lent is also Mothering Sunday and Laetare Sunday. Laetare Sunday was a day of respite halfway through the penance and fasting of the Lenten Season. Laetare–rejoice!–is the first word of the introit for the day, the beginning of the service. The passages that used to be assigned for the day had a number of references to and images of mothers. People started to use the day to visit their mothers, and/or their mother church–where they had been baptised, or the diocesan cathedral. In the early 20th century, Constance Penswick Smith encouraged the celebration of different aspects of motherhood:

  • the Church — Our Mother
  • Mothers of Earthly Homes
  • the Mother of Jesus
  • Gifts of Mother Earth

The Mothers’ Union (and you needn’t be a mother to be part of it!) is a world-wide organization devoted to caring for and nurturing family life. They’re currently making special efforts to support the families of Ukranians. Learn more at their website.

Image Attributions and Permissions:

Both images in this post are sourced from the Vanderbilt Divinity Library’s project Art in the Christian Tradition, and are used under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License.

JESUS MAFA. Prodigal Son, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=54662 [retrieved March 22, 2022]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr (contact page: https://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr/contact).

Wesley, Frank, 1923-2002. Forgiving Father, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=59207 [retrieved March 22, 2022]. Original source: Contact the Vanderbilt Divinity Library for further information.

Sunday, March 20 – Third Sunday in Lent

If you’d like to join in-person worship at the Nativity, please call the office to pre-register. We continue to maintain 2 meters of distance between different household groups. Masks must be worn properly at all times inside the building. Our 10 o’clock Eucharist will continue to be live-streamed each week.

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube! We’ll continue to offer a welcome at about 9:45, followed by some prelude music. The service will begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining in from afar, keep this order of service handy so you can participate in the service! It has all the responses, the hymn texts, and special prayers you might choose to use while those attending in person receive the eucharist.

This week, we’ll hear Isaiah sharing God’s invitation to draw close to our God, who provides all that we need. (Isaiah 55.1-9). We’ll also hear Jesus share a parable about patience and nurturing–even when the recipients of our care seemingly aren’t bearing fruit. (Luke 13.1-9)

March 13, 2022 – Second Sunday in Lent

If you’d like to join in-person worship at the Nativity, please call the office to pre-register. We continue to maintain 2 meters of distance between different household groups. Masks must be worn properly at all times inside the building. Our 10 o’clock Eucharist will continue to be live-streamed each week.

Pen & Ink sketch: A mother draws five children into an embrace.

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube! We’ll continue to offer a welcome at about 9:45, followed by some prelude music. The service will begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining in from afar, keep this order of service handy so you can participate in the service! It has all the responses, the hymn texts, and special prayers you might choose to use while those attending in person receive the eucharist.

Did you know? clip art

Have you ever noticed that the church refers to these first days of the week as “Sundays IN Lent”? Throughout these forty days, it’s always “in”, rather than “of.” Sundays aren’t actually counted as part of the 40 days of Lent! Every Sunday is a sort of mini-Easter: we always celebrate the good news of God’s decisive act in the resurrection of Jesus–bringing us into new life.

Black and white graphic of a hen gathering her chicks under her wing.

On this second Sunday in Lent, we hear in the Hebrew Scriptures of the covenant God makes with Abraham. God promises that Abraham will have innumerable descendants and a homeland for their flourishing (Genesis 15.1–12, 17–18). The gospel story has a warning to Jesus–and a challenging response to both the danger he’s warned about, and God’s desire for a better future (Luke 13.31-35). Sundays and Seasons offers a powerful reminder about God’s hopes for us in their reflection for this Sunday:

Though we sometimes doubt and often resist God’s desire to protect and save us, our God persists. In holy baptism, God’s people have been called and gathered into a God-initiated relationship that will endure. Lent provides the church with a time and a tradition in which to seek God’s face again. Lent provides another occasion to behold the God of our salvation in the face of the Blessed One who “comes in the name of the Lord.”

6 March 2022 – First Sunday in Lent

We have resumed in-person services! If you would like to join in worship in-person, please call the office to pre-register, as we are continuing to maintain 2 metres of distance between household groups attending. Masks must be worn at all times in the building. Our 10 o’clock Eucharist will continue to be live-streamed each week.

Nativity's main altar, dressed on Ash Wednesday for Lent

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube! We’ll continue to offer a welcome at about 9:45, followed by some prelude music. The service will begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

To join in the responses and to sing along with the hymns, you’ll want to keep the order of service handy!

The order of service posted online includes some prayers you may wish to use to participate in spiritual communion while those attending in person receive the Eucharist. This may be the first time you’re hearing about spiritual communion: the idea is that earnestly desiring to participate in the Eucharist and praying is to receive spiritually what you are not able to receive physically at this time. There are three prayers in the online order of service on page 14 to support you as you worship from afar.

On the first Sunday of Lent, we normally sing the Great Litany in procession, wrapping the gathered community in prayer. The procession is a symbol of our status as God’s pilgrim people, restless until we find our rest in God. Because of Covid precautions, we’re omitting the procession this year–but the words of the litany are still a powerful entry point to the season of Lent. We approach God, offer our penitence, and seek God’s support in every aspect of our individual and communal lives.

Jesus is tempted – Matthew 4:1-11

We hear in the Hebrew Scripture readings in Lent about God’s abundant provision for us. This week, we’ll hear about how God’s people are instructed to offer their thanks upon coming into the promised land (Deuteronomy 26.1–11). In the gospel pericope, we’ll hear about Jesus fasting in the wilderness for forty days, and his response to temptation (Luke 4.1-13).

Encouraging words are shared with us in this week’s reflection from Sundays and Seasons:

These forty days called Lent are like no other. It is our opportune time to return to the God who rescues, to receive the gifts of God’s grace, to believe with the heart and confess with the mouth the wonder of God’s love in Jesus, and to resist temptation at every turn. This is no small pilgrimage on which we have just embarked. It is a struggle Jesus knew. It is a struggle Jesus shares. The nearness of the Lord, in bread and wine, water and word, will uphold and sustain us.

The “Jesus is Tempted” image sourced from Art in the Christian Tradition a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library in Nashville, TN. JESUS MAFA. Jesus is tempted – Matthew 4:1-11 https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48312 [retrieved March 3, 2022]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr (contact page: https://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr/contact).