Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Lenten Study Group: Preparing with Joy for the Paschal Feast

The Lenten study group will meet on five Wednesday evenings, from 7:30-9:00 in the church’s Parish Hall. We will gather on February 24, March 3, March 17, March 24, and March 31. (There is no meeting on March 10.) Refreshments and child-care will be provided. All are welcome!

The season of Lent has its roots in the pre-Easter time originally set aside to prepare adults for their baptism in the pre-dawn hours of Easter Sunday. Later Lent took on a penitential tone, being a time of public penance for “those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from [the Church]” [BCP 265]. What if we are neither adult catechumens nor “notorious sinners”? We are asked to support catechumens and consider our own need for repentance and renewal, but then we are also invited to “prepare with joy for the Paschal feast” (BCP 379).

Our Lenten Group will respond to that invitation by studying the origins of the Easter Vigil, its component parts, and the ways in which it has changed through the centuries. As we reflect on its structure and content–especially the readings of the Vigil–group participants will be invited to consider how the Vigil at COS can celebrate our own resurrection faith.

The Lenten season is about Jesus and the experience his disciples had on the road to Jerusalem, but it is also about us: our lives, the places where we experience conflict and struggle, sin and death, grace and resurrection. Each evening, we will begin with an opportunity for sharing the experiences of our personal 2010 Lenten journey and/or reflections on one or more of the biblical texts from the Vigil. Bring your experiences, strengths and hope, your insights, questions and doubts and join us in this Lenten exploration.

Week 1: February 24: The origins of the season of Lent, the development of the Easter Vigil and current practices
Week 2: March 3: Troubling Waters: The flood and the Red Sea. Stories of liberation or terror?
Week 3: March 17: The Sacrifice of Isaac: Salvation story or nightmare?
Week 4: March 24: Creating our own Easter Vigil
Week 5: March 31, the Wednesday of Holy Week: Resurrection! This session will be led by Karen King.

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