Lent at Saint Mark’s

February 22 – April 6, 2023

Lent is a time of preparation.  For more than a thousand years Christians have spent the six weeks before Easter in special study, prayer, and fasting in order to be prepared for the most holy day of the church year – Easter Day.

There are lots of ways to observe the season of Lent. Many people give up indulgences, some add a spiritual discipline or commit to a special activity in the spirit simple living, prayer, penance, and almsgiving.

Saint Mark’s has a variety of resources and activities to help you observe Lent, including special music offerings, programming for both adult and children’s Sunday morning formation classes, Wednesday Evenings at Saint Mark’s Lenten activities, and resources for meditation and faith at home. We have also compiled a list of some of our favorite activities, podcasts, and online resources and listed them below.

Special Services During Lent

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 22

On Ash Wednesday we place ashes, made from blessed palms,  on the forehead in the shape of a cross as a reminder that we are all mortal and that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

There will be three services on Ash Wednesday.  8 a.m., Noon, and 7:30 p.m.

The 7:30 p.m. service will will feature the Saint Mark’s choir, offering music by Joseph Clokey and Orlande de Lassus and will be livestreamed.  If you wish to have ashes sent to you to use during the livestreamed service, please call the parish office at 614-486-9452.

We will also participate in Ashes to Go this year.  If you wish to receive Ashes and are unable to attend any of the services, you can come to the vestibule by the red doors from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and  4 to 6 p.m.  You can download the Ashes to Go brochure for use at home.

Choral Evensong

Sunday, March 5, 4 p.m.

Music by Saint Mark’s Choir

Please join us for this beautiful and inspiring service, and be sure to invite some friends. A reception will follow.

Sign Up Genius to help with the reception is here.

Activities During Lent

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

February 21, 5 p.m.

The Marksmen will b serve up an All-Parish Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21 in the parish hall.

Shrovetide is a pre-Lenten period that culminates on Shrove Tuesday, which is the day before Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the season of Lent. It gets its name from the old English word ‘shrive,” which means “to confess” or “to impose penance.” Traditionally viewed as a day of repentance, Shrove Tuesday has become regarded as the last day for celebration and feasting before entering the Lenten season of spiritual discipline, reflection, fasting, penance, and prayer. It was also a time to use up foods of indulgence, such as meat and sugar and foods with fat like milk, butter, and eggs, which would otherwise spoil. (This is why some refer to Shrove Tuesday as Fat Tuesday, or its French translation, Mardi Gras.) Pancakes were seen as an easy way to use up milk, butter, eggs and sugar in one meal.

So, however you like your pancakes: with lemon juice and powdered sugar or maple syrup and loads of butter, Nutella, whipped cream, or all of the above — come and celebrate this pre-Lenten tradition! There is no charge to attend, however, donations to cover costs will be accepted.

Note: The nursery will NOT be staffed as we have great high chairs and we love kids and kids love pancakes!

Lent Madness

Beginning February 22

Lent Madness is a fun and popular activity. It is disguised as a competition, but it’s actually an online devotion and a great way to learn about Saints while giving to a good cause.

Lent Madness is modelled after the NBA’s annual March Madness tournament. The way Lent Madness works is simple: Thirty-two saints are paired together into a tournament-like single-elimination bracket. Each pairing remains open for a set period of time and people vote for their favorite saint. Sixteen saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo.

Saint Mark’s will have a Lent Madness pool. To join, fill out a bracket (available here or in the arched bookcase in the parish hall) and submit it – along with a $5 entry fee – to Pastor Vicki by February 22.

The winner of the Saint Mark’s pool will get to decide where to donate the funds.

Go to www.lentmadness.org to learn more, follow the celebrity blog, cast your vote, or just follow along. Lent Madness is a program of Forward Movement.

Icons for Meditation – The Sinai Christ

Beginning February 22 in the Chapel

A chance to take a moment to pause and reflect.

Dating from the 6th century AD, the icon of Christ Pantocrator from Mount Sinai is a perfect example of early Christian art and the oldest known icon of Christ in existence. Click on the picture at left for a description and notes for meditation. A replica of this icon is on display throughout the season of Lent in the Chapel.

Saint Mark’s “Icons for Meditation” is an ongoing series in the Chapel of Reconciliation in which great iconographic works of Christendom are presented seasonally for study and contemplation.

Sunday Morning Adult Formation – The Baptismal Covenant

February 26, March 12, 19, and 26 from 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. in the parish hall. You can also join by livestream.

Sunday morning Adult Formation will focus on the Baptismal Covenant throughout Sundays in Lent.

From the earliest days of the church, those being baptized were called on to confess their faith. The ways this happened changed over time and place, with some form of a Creed being used in many times and places.

In the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549 the promises made by the godparents of the child to be baptized were the Apostles’ Creed broken into three sections as in the 1979 Prayer Book of the Episcopal Church followed by asking if the person wished to be baptized.

In the second Book of Common Prayer in 1552 the Creed was reduced to a single question, again followed only by an expression of the desire to be baptized.

In the 1662 Book of Common Prayer the confession of the Apostles’ Creed remained a single question. This was followed by the minister asking: “Wilt thou then obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of thy life?” with the godparents answering “I will” on behalf of the child.
In the first American Prayer Book of 1789, the assumption was that baptism would be administered within a Sunday service where the Creed would be said. The questions asked to the godparents on behalf of the child were: “Dost thou believe all the Articles of the Christian Faith as contained in the Apostles’ Creed?” followed by the question from the 1662 Book. This was the form used in the American Books of Common Prayer of 1892 and 1928 as well.

The Liturgical Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s led many denominations to go back to the older practice of breaking the confession of the Apostles’ Creed into three questions and to expand the question about keeping and following God’s will into more specific questions. It is out of this movement that the Baptismal Covenant as we have it in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer arises.

The Baptismal Covenant is promised at baptism. It is this Covenant that is confirmed during the Confirmation service and the whole congregation renews its Baptismal Covenant every time someone is baptized.

Sunday Morning Children’s Formation – The Apostles’ Creed Project

February 26, March 12, 19, and 26 in the Christian Education area

After Jesus came back from 40 days alone in the desert, he very deliberately chose twelve people he wanted to walk beside him. He gave them a very important project. The people Jesus chose were not well-known, or wealthy, or particularly well-educated. They sometimes made mistakes, got into arguments, and had to deal with the poor choices they made.

In Children’s Formation throughout Lent we will learn about Jesus’ first friends, their project, and what that means for us in the world today.

Lent Quiet Morning

March 4, 9 a.m. to Noon

We will gather in the Canterbury Center for Morning Prayer at 9 a.m. There will be several meditations through the course of the morning. Bring your journal, art supplies, knitting or anything else that you want for significant periods of meditation. We will end with Noonday prayer at 11:30 a.m.

First Sunday Outreach Project

Sunday, March 5, After the 10:30 worship service in the parish hall

In conjunction with the March First Sunday Project featuring our Help Me Grow partners, Outreach will host a baby shower for the Layette Program. This year we are asking for donations of items from a specific list of the items we include in the layette packs for the women.

You can find our Amazon wish list here.

  • Footed sleepers
  • sleep sacs
  • Onesies (short and long sleeve)
  • hooded towels
  • Socks
  • baby washcloths
  • Pacifiers
  • lightweight receiving blankets (no heavy blankets are permitted for safety reasons)
  • pack and play sheets
  • safety items such as outlet covers and cabinet latches
  • Small board books that teach concepts such as shapes, colors or letters

Items can be new or slightly used. We recommend Once Upon A Child as an inexpensive source for some of these items.

Wednesdays Evenings at Saint Mark’s

March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

On Wednesday evenings in Lent we are offering a four-part program.  You can choose to participate in one, two, three, or all four parts.

5:30 p.m.  Simple Supper.  Gather for a simple meal of bread and soup.  The Sign-Up Genius for bread and soup is here.

6:15 – 7:15 p.m.  Pysanka Workshop.  Come explore the art and process of decorating a Ukrainian Easter egg — called a “pysanka”. These eggs, or psyanky (plural), are decorated with motifs and colors with deep, symbolic meaning, such as wishes of love, protection, fecundity, or peace, and are created to be given to family members and respected outsiders.

Decorating pysanky is a multi-step, contemplative process most appropriate for ages 8 and up with adult supervision. A similar, age-appropriate Lenten activity will be provided for young children (ages 4-7) and the nursery will be staffed for very young children (infant to age 3) if needed.

7:30 – 7:45 p.m.  Compline.  Compline is the night prayer of the church.  It has been prayed by Christians for over a thousand years.  We will gather in the sanctuary for Compline.

8 – 9  p.m. Book Discussion. We will discuss the book Walk in Love by Scott Gunn and Melody Shue.  The book looks at the life of the Episcopal Church through worship. The discussion will take place in the Canterbury Center or you can join by Zoom using this link.

Resources for Observing Lent

Lent Materials

There are Lent materials available in the parish hall in the arch-shaped book rack near the kitchen, where the Forward Day by Day booklets are located.  You can also download these for use at home.

40 Stories from Matthew every Christian should know.  We are reading from the Gospel of Matthew on Sundays this year.  These readings give you a good overview of the Gospel.

Family Prayers.  This gives you a framework to add prayer into your household’s daily life.

Prayer Calendar.  This gives you a topic for prayers of intercession or thanksgiving each day.

Weekly Reflections.  This gives a theological reflection for each week in Lent.