Lent and Easter 2017

Reflecting and Renewing

0301 Lent 2017Lent and Easter together constitute a most important time in the Christian year.

Lent is a time to reflect on the year past, to take stock of who we are and what we’ve done. With reflection and with prayer, we chart a new course for ourselves for the coming year.

The elements of Lent include self-examination, penitence, self-denial, prayer, alms-giving and preparation for Easter. Through self-examination, we reflect on our thoughts and actions to see where we have followed God’s way and where we have followed our own impulses. We do penitence when we admit that we have gone astray and commit renewing ourselves, to doing better. Self-denial, or “giving up something for Lent”, prayer, which remind us of Jesus’s forty days in the wilderness, and alms-giving, are spiritual disciplines that help us in our reflection and renewal.

Just before Easter, we enter the darkest days of the Christian year. Holy Week starts on a triumphant note on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, which marks Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. Triumph is soon replaced by foreboding, with Jesus foretelling of His death, and with turmoil, denial, and betrayal among the disciples.

Easter_2013_Web_BannerOn Good Friday we recall Jesus’s suffering and death on the cross. This is the most sombre day of the Christian year as we bear witness to this dramatic climax in the conflict between good and evil.

Easter day itself is the most joyous day of the year. God completes what He started on Good Friday by bringing Jesus back to life. Through His resurrection, death is conquered and we gain the promise of eternal life. As we are thankful for Jesus’s restored life, we remember our Lenten reflections so that we may follow our commitment to renewal in our own lives.

 

Calendar of Special Services for Lent and Easter 2017

We invite you to be a part of the services at St. John’s during Lent and on the Easter weekend.

March 1 – Ash Wednesday
8:00 a.m. Spoken-word service that includes the imposition of ashes (marking of a cross on the forehead)
7:00 p.m. Service featuring the choir, a message, and the imposition of ashes
April 9 – Palm Sunday
9:00 a.m. The Sacred Table with Holy Communion
10:30 a.m. The Open Door – a celebration of Palm Sunday complete with palm fronds
11:30 a.m. The Forum – a free-form discussion time
Wednesday, April 12
3:00 p.m. Seniors’ Eucharist at St. Leonard’s Church, 25 Wanless Ave., Toronto
April 13 – Maundy Thursday
7:30 p.m. An informal observation of The Last Supper followed by the Stripping of the Church to prepare for Good Friday.
April 14 – Good Friday
10:00 a.m. The Passion Story – the story of the final hours before Jesus’s crucifixion – told with music and drama. A Children’s program is offered at the same time.
April 16– Easter Sunday
9:00 a.m. The Sacred Table – a traditional service with Holy Communion to welcome the risen Christ.
10:30 a.m. The Open Door – a joyful family service filled with music and praise celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. A special program is offered for the children during the service.

 

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