St. Andrew's announces Lenten schedule

Rev. James J. Popham
Lent

St. Andrew’s By-the-Sea, the Episcopal Church in Destin, has announced its Lenten worship and program schedule. Lent begins on Feb. 17, which is known as Ash Wednesday.

In the Christian tradition, Lent is the 40-day season of penitence and fasting preceding Easter. It is a time that invites self-sacrifice, prayer, study, and quiet reflection.

St. Andrew’s observance of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, with services at noon and 6 p.m. The services will include readings from Scripture, a sermon, and prayers of penitence and repentance. The imposition of ashes will follow the service as the congregation departs. Masks and social distancing will be required. The noon worship service will be live streamed and posted on St. Andrew’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/standrewsdestin.

St. Andrew’s will continue to live stream and post its Sunday morning services of the Holy Eucharist (Communion) at 10 a.m. The Sunday services are drawn from the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church of the United States and include Scripture readings, a sermon, recitation of the Nicene Creed, prayers of petition, thanksgiving, and confession, and Holy Communion. The prayers and readings will reflect the Lenten themes of penitence and repentance. Masks are required, and the church’s spacious sanctuary easily allows for social distancing.

On Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in Lent, St. Andrew’s will offer a Bible study entitled “Jesus’ Last Week.” Looking primarily to the Gospel according to Mark, the subject will be the last days of Jesus’ life on earth from Palm Sunday, a week before Easter, through Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified. Sessions will last one hour and will be available only on Zoom. The weekly reading list and Zoom sign-in link will be made available to parishioners in advance and will be available by request to the church office at (admin@standrewsbtsepiscopal.org.

St. Andrew’s also anticipates conducting the full array of Holy Week services beginning on March 28, the Sunday of the Passion or Palm Sunday. And in addition to its Lenten services, St. Andrew’s will continue to offer its regularly scheduled weekday services during Lent:

Every Wednesday at noon, St. Andrew’s conducts a Healing Holy Eucharist in the church sanctuary. Whereas anointing and laying on of hands are excluded due to pandemic precautions, the service does include a special litany of healing. This service is not live-streamed to preserve the privacy of all seeking special prayers for healing of their afflictions.

At 8 p.m. each evening, St. Andrew’s live-streams and posts “An Order for Compline,” which finds its roots in the monastic round of daily prayer. It consists of “night prayers” designed to be said immediately before retiring to bed. All are invited to join in at 8 p.m. each evening or when preparing to go to bed.

The Rev. James J. Popham is rector at St. Andrews By-the-Sea in Destin.