Lent is upon us. Here’s what’s happening at Holy Trinity Church Inwood:
- Sun., Feb. 26, Vestry Meeting, 12pm
- Sun., Feb. 26, 1-2:30pm, Children’s Demonstration Choir
- Wed., Mar. 1, 7pm, Holy Communion and Imposition of Ashes
- Sun., Mar. 5, 10:30am, First Sunday in Lent, We switch to Rite I (see below), Great Litany, Guest Preacher: The Rev. April Stace
Beginning on the First Sunday in Lent and continuing until Easter, we will use Rite I for the Communion Service. Rite I uses the traditional language of the Book of Common Prayer, which, along with the King James Bible and Shakespeare, established English as a language capable of expressing the highest and most subtle of human thoughts and desires.
On the First Sunday in Lent we will chant the Great Litany (which is on page 148 of the Book of Common Prayer if you want to give it a preview).
On the second, third and fifth Sundays, after the opening hymn, the service will begin with “An Exhortation” and the call-and-response recitation of “The Decalogue” (more commonly called the Ten Commandments) starting on page 316. On the fourth Sunday, traditionally known as Laetare or Rose Sunday, this discipline will be relaxed as the church looks briefly ahead in joyful anticipation of Easter.
Much of the language in Rite I comes to us from the earliest prayer books used in the Church of England at the time of the Protestant Reformation, and its formal, Elizabethan tone can be unfamiliar. Such a change in the liturgy calls for attention to the Prayer Book as written, and for us to break with habitual and familiar responses; remembering to say “and with Thy spirit” instead of “and also with you,” and “Glory be to thee, O Lord” and “Praise be to thee, O Christ” before and after the reading of the Gospel.
Of “man, men, and mankind”… you will notice that throughout the service, Rite I uses the gender-specific terms “man, men, or mankind” to refer to the human race as a whole (for example, in the Gloria, “good will towards men” or in the Creed, “who for us men and our salvation”). English, unlike Greek and other languages, does not have a gender-neutral word for the human race as a whole. (Even the English words “human” and “humankind” have “man” as their root.)
Rite I is an early English vernacular liturgy that was adapted from the Latin and Greek liturgies that came before it. Latin uses the word homo to designate humans and the human race as a whole (as in homo sapiens) – inclusive of men and women – while Greek uses ἄνθρωπος (anthrópos) in the same way, and from which we get the English word anthropology (the study of humans) and anthropomorphic (to make something not human seem human, which we often do to our pets).
Usage changes but old books do not, so while some of these words may seem out of date and even off-putting, I hope that you will take the time to study their deeper meanings and the truth that inspired them.
We will return to use of Rite II after Palm Sunday with the Holy Week and Easter services.
NOW FORMING – Vicar’s Lent Study Group
What matters to me as your minister is that you continue to grow spiritually, to ask hard questions of yourself and of God, and to experience fellowship with other Christians in a small-group setting and outside of worship on Sunday.
And so that’s what I’d like to invite you to spend some time doing with me this Lent.
(The group will be limited to no more than six participants, so let me know soon if you’re interested.)
Over the course of Lent and into Holy Week we will meet in the vicarage to study and pray together. Light, convivial refreshments will be served.
Here’s what I have in mind for us to study and talk about together:
Week 1: Right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the universe
Week 2: What Christians believe
Week 3: What to do with the Old Testament
Week 4: Miracles
Week 5: Is it necessary to be a Christian?
Week 6: The Episcopalian way of being Christian
The course will culminate by attending the Easter Vigil together as a group at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Holy Saturday.
For those of you who feel so called, I will be happy to present you to the bishop for baptism, confirmation, or to be received into the Episcopal Church from another denomination. The rest of us will be there to cheer you on!
Please let me know as soon as you can if you’re interested. Click here to sign up and to indicate a day/time preference. Remember, the study is limited to six participants to foster engagement and preserve a small-group dynamic. However, if there is enough interest, I can run two groups on separate nights. (We’ll figure out which nights once I know who’s interested.)
N.B. This group is for anyone who is interested in discussing the Christian Faith and having a small-group experience, not just those preparing for baptism, confirmation, or reception.
Reflections on change at Holy Trinity
Holy Trinity is launching a blog on our website to collect and publish reflections on change at Holy Trinity. Pat McLaughlin, our treasurer, has gotten us off to a good start. She asks a thought-provoking and compelling question of the congregation: “What requires us to stay?” You can read her reflection here.
Annual Election and Parish Meeting
You can read the Vicar’s “State of the Parish” report here. The following were elected to serve Holy Trinity in lay leadership. We thank outgoing warden, Ann Ahearn, and vestry-person, Tom Waters for their service. Wardens: Abigail Snow (to serve until 2018); Kevin Kunkel (to serve until 2019). Vestry, Class of 2018; Leslee Warren; Class of 2019, Victor Isaac; Class of 2020, Patricia McLaughlin (treasurer), Cecilia Malm.
Did the outcome of the presidential election make you want to DO something?
Join the newly-formed Social Justice Team! Next meeting is Thursday, March 9 at 7pm in the vicarage. Please contact the Vicar if interested.
Missed church? Sermons are available online to listen to or download and read
Transcripts and audio files are available here.