Vicar Writes

Vicar Writes


7 February 2016 | Vicar Writes

Lent at the Cathedral

By Terry Wong

Lent (Latin: Quadragesima, “fortieth”) is an important season in our Church Calendar, commemorating the 40 days which Jesus spent fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry. During that time, he endured temptation by Satan. The Sundays are not counted as part of Lent; thus the period from Ash Wednesday until Easter consists of 40 days when the Sundays are excluded.

Lent this year starts on 10th February, with the Ash Wednesday Service at 6.00 pm. It derives its name from the practice of applying ashes as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are burned. For various reasons, some are uncomfortable with this practise and one can refrain from the imposition of ash. The Communion will be served in this one hour Service and it is a good way to begin your Lent observance.

During Lent, Christians take on a heightened commitment to the spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting, repentance and self-denial. There are various types of fasts and you are encouraged to prayerfully consider doing so to give focus to your spiritual reflection the life of Christ. Our sermon series entitled “Following Jesus in our Times” will help us to reflect on the Gospels reading in our Sunday lectionary. You are also encouraged to read the Lent Daily Devotions published by the National Council of the Churches of Singapore. You can purchase it at the Welcome Centre.

The last week of Lent is called the Holy Week, which marks the immediate events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will have special devotional messages at 7.30 pm. On Thursday, there will be a Tenebrae Service (Latin- darkness), where through liturgy and symbols, we begin to remember the tragic and emotional aspects of the sufferings of Jesus. This continues through Good Friday, where the cross is remembered. On Saturday, following the tradition of Easter Vigil, we will hold a Baptism Service at 5 pm on Saturday. The darkness is lifted at the 6 am Dawn Service on Easter as we celebrate the ressurection of Jesus.

There will be special efforts to share the Gospel and the Services will be a good opportunity to invite your friends. We will share more details later.