An Invitation to a Holy Lent
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.
This season of Lent provided
a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy
Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of
notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful
were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to
the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation
was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set
forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all
Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the
observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance;
by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and
meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning
of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now
kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.
Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the earth:
Grant that these ashes may be to us a sign of our mortality and penitence,
that we may remember
that it is only by your gracious gift
that we are given everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer, p. 264
A Walk through 1st Century Jerusalem
A special presentation by Rabbi Dr. Michael Panitz, March 13, 2022
Download the handout for this presentation here.
A Prayer for Ukraine
God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Archbishop Justin Welby
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell
Bishop Susan’s Five Initiatives for Mission, Vitality, and Baptismal Ministry
- Christians who follow Christ within the Diocese of Southern Virginia engage in a RULE OF LIFE that includes a commitment to Prayer, Study of Scripture, Acts of Charity, Community, and Worship.
- Every faith community has a unique charism to offer. The Diocese commits to empowering and supporting all communities, large and small, to maintain and model healthy parish life. We will devote energy and resources to healthy congregational development, conflict resolution, and healthy relationships. The goal of this initiative is to establish healthy, supportive CONNECTION throughout the Diocese.
- The Diocese will commit to engaging the journey to BECOMING BELOVED COMMUNITY, improving our understanding of what it means to live “racially just lives,” and endeavoring to be agents of truth telling, healing, justice and racial reconciliation.
- The Diocese will commit to developing and maintaining a model of CREATION CARE that articulates and implements an action plan advancing our stewardship, not only of Diocesan resources, but of the earth and all its resources.
- The Diocese will commit to develop and promote a model of EVANGELISM that enables us to proclaim by word and example the Good News of Jesus Christ, empowering us to tell our faith stories with the kind of ease and conviction that will attract people to our way
Read Bishop Susan’s Ash Wednesday reflection, “Scriptural direction for Lenten disciplines.”
Creating Your Own Rule of Life
A “Rule of Life” is a set of guidelines and commitments directing one’s life. The rule usually includes set times of daily prayer and meditation, study (such as reading the Bible), and acts of charity. It can also include regular attendance at the Holy Eucharist, making retreats, placing oneself under a spiritual director or confessor, and fasting or other acts of self denial.
This Lent, consider creating your own personal RULE OF LIFE, including the 5 elements itemized in the bishop’s initiative #1.
Christians who follow Christ within the Diocese of Southern Virginia engage in a RULE OF LIFE that includes a commitment to regular:
- Study of Scripture
- Acts of Charity
To help you get started, here is the Morning Prayer playlist from Canterbury Cathedral.
Begin by watching Monday, 28 February, to hear Dean Robert talk about the Gospel of John, which will be the subject of his daily reflections on scripture for the whole season of Lent. Also, he introduces the suggestion of starting a notebook for daily journaling, including making a daily notation of “One Good Thing” for each day of Lent.