Lent is the forty days before Easter Day, a time for self examination and penitence, a time to discover and remove the self-made barriers that keep us from God. It is a time to concentrate on values and priorities, and not a time for self punishment.
We mark the season of Lent by giving up some things and taking on others. Both serve to mark the season as a time of preparation. This is also why we try to engage more intentionally in learning about the faith. For those who can, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and Fridays throughout Lent, may be appropriate days of fasting (eating and drinking more sparingly). Lent is also an appropriate time for the Sacrament of Confession.
In Lent, the liturgy takes on a simpler tone. The ‘Kyrie eleison’ (Lord have mercy) is sung instead of the Gloria. The word “Alleluia” is not used. The organ is used sparingly. There are no flowers for decoration. The vestments and hangings are purple or violet, the colour of penitence and renewal. At Easter these things will be used again in the liturgy, and the colour is joyful white.
If we keep a holy Lent, we will celebrate a joyful Easter.
During Lent, High Mass at 10.30am is shorter (approx. 70 minutes) to allow time after for those who would like to join in a discussion based on the sermon, ending by 12.45pm.
The Magnificent Seven: Rethinking the Seven Deadly Sins
At High Mass on the first four Sundays of Lent, Bishop Richard Holloway will be preaching a series of sermons on the Deadly Sins. Each will be followed by group discussion in the hall after Mass.
- Sunday 10 March, Lent 1 ‘Pride’
- Sunday 17 March, Lent 2 ‘Covetousness and Envy’
- Sunday 24 March, Lent 3 ‘Wrath and Sloth’
- Sunday 31 March, Lent 4 ‘Gluttony and Lust’
British Summer Time starts at 1 am, Sunday 31 March; clocks go forward one hour.
Also on Sundays
10am Morning Prayer
6.30pm Evensong and Benediction
(7 & 14 April Stations of the Cross)
Ecumenical Worship in Lent
OSP will share in worship with other churches in the Old Town: St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church (Cowgate) and Canongate Church of Scotland (Canongate).
On Wednesdays, they will join us for Morning Prayer at 8.00am.
On Palm Sunday at 2.00pm, we will join together for a ‘Jesus on the Royal Mile’ procession with the cross from Mercat Cross to Holyrood.
In Holy Week, three evening services at 7.30pm, one in each of the churches, will be shared by all three congregations. OSP will welcome the others to Tenebrae on Wednesday; and we will participate in a liturgy for Holy Week on Monday at St Patrick’s, and on Good Friday at Canongate Kirk.
Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
Repentance and forgiveness are part of any Christian life. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the sign of the Church’s forgiveness offered to every individual. It is open to all but compulsory for none.
During Lent, Fr Tony is available to hear Confessions (in absolute confidence) after services or by appointment.