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Lent at Mt. Calvary

And so our journey to the cross AND the empty tomb (they must go together as the singular work by which we are redeemed – we need both) begins again.

The origins of our Lent (in the Western churches, as opposed to the Eastern Orthodox churches) go back at least to the 4th century AD; before that, the evidence is hard to evaluate. The forty days of Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday and “officially” ends at Maundy Thursday, since Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter are considered the “Triduum”) has an obvious connection to Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness when He was tempted by the devil. Since He did not eat during that time, one of the early “disciplines” of Lent was fasting. This could be more or less rigorous depending on where you found yourself in Christendom. In some places people eliminated all dairy and meat from their diets for the whole season, while in other places the fast only took place a few times during the week. Fasting was considered a spiritual discipline that helped with keeping the body under control, and which reminded the person fasting to have proper sorrow for her or his sin. Other customs that emerged during the season included giving charitable gifts to the poor and destitute, and engaging in special prayers or devotions. All of this was aimed at preparing one for the joyful celebration of Christ’s triumph over sin and death on Easter Sunday.

The curious thing, however, is that Sundays are not included in counting the days of Lent. And if you go with the tradition of letting the Triduum be its own “little” season, then you only get 38 days to Lent – hence it’s “forty-ish” rather than a strict forty.

But enough of trivia. We keep the season of Lent as a way to prepare for Easter. And we do that by focusing on what Jesus did to redeem us. You have the opportunity to join us for special services to aid your devotion during the season, and I recommend that you add fasting and charitable giving to your disciplines as well.

The theme for this year’s mid-week services will be: “Five Words for Five Weeks.” This is taken from the tradition of looking at Jesus’ final words from the cross as a way to grasp His Passion and our salvation. Technically, there are “seven last words,” but since three of them come from St. John’s Passion (which we will hear on Good Friday) we’ll only use one of those for our mid-week services. During our mid-week services we will face not only the death which is brought to us through our sin, but also the life that is brought to us through Jesus’ sacrifice. He gives us mercy and salvation, He fulfills all prophesy for us, He suffers the full wrath of God at our sin - even to the point of being abandoned by the Father, and finally He gives us faithful confidence in God’s promises. We hope that you will find this an enriching part of your preparations for the joyous celebration of Easter. Below, we have a schedule of all our special worship services, from Ash Wednesday through Easter. Please make it your discipline in this season to join us if your schedule allows – it is a great opportunity to grow in understanding.

The Triduum

The celebrations of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter were the first regular festival in the Church’s calendar - dating back as far as around 150 AD. In fact, together, they were seen as one great “service” of worship - with the congregation simply dispersing between the various parts of the liturgy, but never really ceasing the receiving of God’s gifts in Christ or their worship - hence the ancient name for these services is the Triduum, “the Three Days.” We earnestly entreat you to join us for the “Three Days” at Mt. Calvary as we again celebrate Christ’s great work by which our redemption is accomplished.

Maundy Thursday: April 6, 2023
Divine Service - 11:15 a.m.
Divine Service & the Stripping of the Altar – 6:30 p.m.
Good Friday: April 7, 2023
Noon Prayer & Commemoration of the Cross - 12:00 p.m.
Tenebrae – 6:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday: April 9, 2023
Divine Service & the Easter Proclamation - 8:00 a.m. (note this is an hour earlier)
Spoken Divine Service – 11:45 a.m.

2023 Lent Schedule

Ash Wednesday: February 22
Imposition of Ashes & Holy Communion offered at 11:15 a.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Quinquagesima (the week of the “50th day” before Easter): February 23
Spoken Divine Service, 6:00 p.m.
1st Sunday in Lent: February 26
Sung Matins, 9:00 a.m.; Spoken Divine Service, 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday, 1st Week of Lent: March 1
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do...”
Mid-Day Prayer - 11:15 a.m.
Vespers – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, 1st Week of Lent: March 2
Spoken Divine Service, 6:00 p.m.
2nd Sunday in Lent: March 5
Sung Divine Service, 9:00 a.m.; Spoke Divine Service, 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday, 2nd Week of Lent: March 8
“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise...”
Mid-Day Prayer - 11:15 a.m.
Vespers – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, 2nd Week of Lent: March 9
Spoken Divine Service, 6:00 p.m.
3rd Sunday in Lent: March 12
Sung Matins, 9:00 a.m.; Spoken Divine Service, 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday, 3rd Week of Lent: March 15
“I thirst...”
Mid-Day Prayer - 11:15 a.m.
Vespers – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, 3rd Week of Lent: March 16
Spoken Divine Service, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 18: Family Life Committee Trivia Night
(watch for news)
4th Sunday in Lent: March 19
Sung Divine Service, 9:00 a.m.; Spoken Divine Service, 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday, 4th Week of Lent: March 22
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”
Mid-Day Prayer - 11:15 a.m.
Vespers – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, 4th Week of Lent: March 23
Spoken Divine Service, 6:00 p.m.
5th Sunday in Lent: March 26
Sung Matins, 9:00 a.m.; Spoken Divine Service, 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday, 5th Week of Lent: March 29
“Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit...”
Mid-Day Prayer - 11:15 a.m.
Vespers – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, 5th Week of Lent: March 30
Spoken Divine Service, 6:00 p.m.
Palm/Passion Sunday: April 2
Procession & Blessing of the Palms (all services),
Reading the of Passion according to St. Matthew (9:00 a.m.)
Sung Divine Service, 9:00 a.m.; Spoken Divine Service, 11:45 a.m.

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Christ's Promise to You—and Me

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Christ's Promise to You—and Me

July 20, 2024 Daily Devotion from Lutheran Hour Ministries

Published on: Saturday, July 20, 2024