Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Lenten Liturgy Project

During Lent, Bethany will be focusing our devotions around the themes of the liturgy.  You'll hear it in the music and the sermons, and the discussion will continue here on the blog.

Tonight, on Ash Wednesday, we began the series by discussing the role of confession.  Technically, confession is not part of the ordinary liturgy.  However, we do begin most of our worship services with a confession.  While humble self-examination can be a difficult challenge, I think tonight's service avoided the dreary dirge-like atmosphere that can ruin the experience of Ash Wednesday and Lent in general.  By singing "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling" during the imposition of ashes, we reinforced the theme of reconciliation rather than self-abasement.

Many of us think of ourselves as living good lives, working hard and doing our best.  So maybe the more important sins to consider are the sins of omission.  The text and the form of the Lutheran confession do not ask us to list petty sins we have commited during the week.  Instead we admit that "We have not loved [God] with our whole heart.  We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves."  Rather than being punished for mistakes, perhaps we could view the confession as a chance to acknowledge how often we do not live up to our potential.

Looking ahead, I want to mention below the dates and topics coming up.  I am so excited about some of the "guest bloggers" who have already submitted comments, and I would welcome anyone to be in touch by email or in the comments!  Join us in this discussion in our journey toward Easter.

March 9-15: Confession
March 16-22: Kyrie
March 23-29: Gloria
March 30-April 5: Credo
April 6-12: Sanctus
April 13-19: Benedictus
April 20-23: Agnus Dei
April 24 (Easter): Alleluia!

1 comment:

  1. Not loved our neighbors as ourselves. With almost all states looking to reduce their budgets, there will be more need than ever to help our neighbors. We simply cannot pretend they do not exist, or that eliminating their support services will somehow not hurt them more than we can ever understand who do not currently need those services.