Lent began on Wednesday, February 22 with the usual evening prayer service replaced by the Ash Wednesday service during which we chant the Litany or General Supplication asking for God’s mercy, followed by the imposition of the ashes created by the burning of the palms from last year’s Palm Sunday, and culminating in Holy Communion.
Sunday, February 26 was The First Sunday in Lent, which is the period of penance and self-examination preceeding Easter. The church looks very different during this season. Altar flowers are not permitted, nor are the six office candles, and we have only the two communion candles in simple stone candle holders by our late member Howard McGill. The simplicity of the altar reflects the seriousness of this season.
Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the gospel for the day, Matthew 4:1 in which Satan tempts Jesus to use His divine powers for earthly purposes, but Jesus refuses to misuse His powers. It is the same with us today for we must resist the temptation to put earthly well-being above our spiritual welfare.
Bishop Glen Hartley conducts services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Visit or website at stfrancisavamo.org.