Grace and peace. In two short weeks, we will begin the season of Lent. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. I don’t know how you are going to handle this convergence of romance and fasting. I bet you could get a much better dinner reservation on Tuesday, February 13. On the 14th, we will offer two Ash Wednesday services, one at 12:30pm and the other at 7:30pm. The Day School chapels will offer the imposition of ashes at 8:30am and 2:00pm.
Lent is the time of year when we pray and fast while considering the ways we can adjust our habits to improve the trajectory of our life and of our neighbors. I encourage you to begin thinking about what you might want to give up (because it is getting in your way) or take on (because you need a new habit) during this 40-day period. I am certain that a good reflection about this choice will lead to building a more purposeful Lent that will result in a glorious Easter celebration.
We have two opportunities that will be part of our Lenten offerings. The first is Lent Madness. St. Patrick’s has participated in Lent Madness for the past several years. Like March Madness (the basketball tournament), in Lent Madness you fill out an elimination bracket and then participate daily by reading a reflection online and voting for the saint you think should advance. Last year, Florence Nightingale won the Golden Halo. We have Saintly Scorecards available at St. Patrick’s or you can read more about Lent Madness online.
The new opportunity this year is to join Episcopalians around the world in the Good Book Club. The Good Book Club will read the Gospel of Luke during Lent and will continue reading the Acts of the Apostles in the Easter Season. Reflections will be offered through a variety of sources online or through the Forward-Day-By-Day books available at St. Patrick’s. Each Sunday, seminarian Michael Palmisano will offer a Bible study from 11:45-12:30pm on Sunday to answer questions from the past week and to preview the upcoming week of readings. Check out the Good Book Club video introduction from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry below.
I hope that you will be prepared for the season of Lent with St. Patrick’s.