"It became the custom of the church to prepare... by a season of penitence and fasting."
Beginning the Lenten Journey
Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent: a time set apart; a holy time; a time to reach deeper into Christ's love. How do we begin such a journey? In the Episcopal tradition, we turn to the Book of Common Prayer for grounding. For the Ash Wednesday service the prayer book includes a beautiful and powerful "Invitation to a Holy Lent." The text begins:
"Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting."
Hear an Audio Invitation to a Holy Lent
As a way of sharing this special invitation with the Building Faith audience, Matthew Kozlowski and Charlotte Hand Greeson have recorded the text together. Have a listen... and more importantly, have a blessed Lent.
Matthew Kozlowski and Charlotte Hand Greeson are co-editors of Building Faith, and members of the team at the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary.
Text from the Book of Common Prayer, page 264. The music, used with permission, is "Moonlight Dance" by Jason Ptaff.
Featured photo "Illumination" taken at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, by Amir Jina, used with permission via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)