Lent begins on “Ash Wednesday” which is 40 days before Easter. Lent excludes Sundays in the count as each Sunday is considered a kind of prelude to Easter Sunday. This year (2016), Lent begins on February 10 and ends on Easter Sunday, March 27.
The ashes represent both repentance and mortality. The scriptures tell of the donning of “sackcloth and ashes” whenever an individual or community experienced remorse over sins. This was another form of confession. Ashes relate to our mortality in that it reminds us that when we die, our bodies return to the dust from whence it came, according to the Creation story.
Yes and no. “Yes,” in that we commend the message that the ashes symbolize and will offer a way for our community to corporately experience confession and repentance as well as the affirmation of God’s grace. “No,” in that we do not host a ceremony wherein ashes are placed upon the foreheads of our congregants. City Church is not opposed to this practice; it just hasn’t been our tradition.
City Church does not prescribe anything specific for individuals, for that is a matter between her/him and what he/she senses God is calling them to. We do, however, stress the importance of fasting and engagement. For example, you may be led to abstain from an hour per day of entertainment media over the 40 days and in that same hour engage in prayer and/or the reading of scripture.
City Church is hosting what will be a moving hour of worship and reflection. This will occur on Wednesday, February 10 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm at City Church Central on Rio Road.
– Instrumental worship
– Welcome and Prayer
– Scripture Reading: 1 John 1.8-9
– Come Thou Fount
– Responsive Reading: Psalm 103.1-14
– Great is Thy Faithfulness
– Scripture Reading and Reflection: Isaiah 53.4-6
– Scripture Reading: Romans 5.6-10
– The Stand
– Benediction and Conclusion