Entering into Lent through Liturgy
During Lent, you are invited to fully participate in the Mass in different ways - sometimes to be more quiet and reflective, at other times to sing out - to help you to experience the season more deeply. I’m sure you noticed many of these differences this first weekend, and they will continue for the remainder of Lent.
Before Mass begins, we encourage you to take a few minutes to read through the readings for the day so you can be mentally focused as the readings are proclaimed. When Mass begins, we are invited to kneel and are called to prayer with several ringing bell tones. As the sound draws us into the moment, we are mindful of our intention for the Mass. We then will pray together the Confiteor, recognizing our need for repentance, God’s mercy, and the support of each other.
Each week, you will hear a different reflection song following communion. The hope is that as you listen, you will experience the Word of God more deeply and it will speak to your heart in some way. The first week of Lent, we hear of Jesus being tempted by the devil in the desert. These Alone Are Enough (# 393) is based on the “Suscipe” prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and challenges us to surrender and trust. God knows all our needs and worries, and is always there to fill us with love and grace. Week two tells of Jesus' transfiguration on the mountaintop. Transfiguration (# 130) invites us to put ourselves into that scene, and to lift up our spirits in praise at the wonder and glory of it. As we move on to week three, we encounter the Samaritan woman at the well who speaks with Jesus and learns that He is the “living water.” We will reflect on Sacred Silence (# 541) and pray that the Lord will be with us and speak to us as well. The gospel for week four tells the story of the man born blind who is cured by Jesus in the Pool of Siloam. The man is able to recognize and proclaim that Jesus and his power are from God. There is a Longing (# 399) acknowledges we all have areas of blindness and weakness, and we need Jesus to help us see how he is working in our lives. We end our journey through Lent with the raising of Lazarus from the dead. We Roll Away the Stone (# 179), as a celebration of God’s power and an affirmation of the reason for our hope. As Mass ends and we are sent forth, we will sing (loudly and with spirit!) Led by the Spirit (# 122) each week, which ties the messages of all these gospels together.
God bless you on your Lenten journey!
Mollie Muntefering, Coordinator of Liturgy