Sunday mornings in Lent

You will notice some changes in our liturgy during Sundays in Lent. We use Rite I in all our services. This service traces its roots to the first Book of Common Prayer (1549). The Rite I offers us beautiful traditional language—but there’s more to it than that. This service powerfully captures both the reality of the human condition and God’s great grace to us in Jesus Christ.

Additionally, there are some other changes in keeping with Lenten themes that give the service a simpler, sparser, and different kind of beauty. We omit the Alleluias and altar flowers. We do not sing or say the Gloria (the hymn of praise at the beginning of the service) or the Doxology (“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” sung at the presentation of the offerings), nor do we use the carillon (the bells in the tower that usually play before and after the service). The liturgical color of purple reflects penance and reminds us the purple garment Christ was forced to wear by mocking soldiers after his arrest.

Finally, the wooden Holy Table we normally use for Communion is removed. We will celebrate Communion on St. Alban’s original altar, with the Celebrant facing east (ad orientem). Having the clergy and people all face the same direction reminds us of our common humanity, all approaching God humbly, mindful of our sin and God’s mercy.