We are in the Season of Lent

 Today  (21-February-2010) is the First Sunday of Lent

Lent is a forty-day period that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. 

 Sundays are not included in that forty-day count because every Sunday is a joyful celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.   Lent is considered a time of our apology to God for our sins and discipline.

Because of Lent’s penitential nature, worship tends to be more solemn. Many congregations hold special mid-week worship services and promote other devotional activities to help their members concentrate on the Lenten disciplines of fasting, acts of charity and prayer.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent.  On this day, Christians focus on their complete sinfulness and the necessity of Christ’s suffering and death to insure their salvation.  Ashes are referred to many times in the Old Testament as signs of sorrow, mourning, humility, and repentance, and on Ash Wednesday they are used to remind people of their mortality —  that “you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).  Many churches use ashes during Ash Wednesday worship in a ritual called the Imposition of Ashes.  Our Ash Wednesday services were held this year in Port Deposit Presbyterian church (check out this link: http://wp.me/pc4eL-nK). Ashes from last year’s Palm Sunday were mixed with a small amount of water and applied to the forehead of each worshipper.

The Sunday of the Passion or Palm Sunday begins the last week of Lent, known as Holy Week.  During this holiest time of the church year, the worship services relive the final week of our Lord’s human life.

Holy Week includes Maundy Thursday, when Christians observe Christ’s “Last Supper” — the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion — and the mandate to serve one another in love.  We will observe Maundy Thursday on Thursday, April 1, 2010 @ 7 PM in Hopewell UMC.

Good Friday commemorates the imprisonment, trial and death by crucifixion of Jesus. We will observe Good Friday on Friday, April 2, 2010 @ 7 PM in Cokesbury UMC

Lent ends at Sunrise service on Easter Sunday. This year Sunrise Services will be held at Sunrise in Marina Park in Port Deposit.

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