The First Sunday in Lent — Cycle B

Worship on the First Sunday in Lent is really moving! You won’t want to miss it! Every year we begin the service for the First Sunday in Lent by singing the Great Litany as The Processional.  This litany is referred to as “the Great Litany” not just because of its length but because it sums up

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Ash Wednesday Worship — the Hymns and Lessons

Why ashes? On Ash Wednesday, our congregation practices the imposition of ashes. But why? The imposition of ashes can be a powerful, tactile reminder of both Law and Gospel in which worshipers of any age can take part. The words “dust you are, and to dust you shall return” are spoken as ashes are received

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Ash Wednesday: A Journey of Bright Sadness Begins

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. The famous liturgist Alexander Schmemann wrote of Lent that it is a journey, a pilgrimage. “Yet as we begin it, as we make the first step into the ‘bright sadness’ of Lent , we see — far, far away — the destination.  It is the joy of

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Living Lent in the Fast Lane

Back in 2014 I found this wonderful post about how prayer, fasting and almsgiving remain the basic pillars of our Lenten practice for a very good reason. Every year I re-read it — and every year I am shocked by how true it is for me. It is by Mark P. Shea and I found

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Hymns and Lessons for the Transfiguration — Cycle B

Ever since January 6, the Church has been in the Season of the Church Year known as Epiphany.  The Season of Epiphany completes “The Cycle of Light” that began with Advent and continued through Christmas and Epiphany.  In Advent, “the people who sat in darkness” prepared for the coming of the great light that came

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Hymns and Lessons for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany (Cycle B)

As I think about worship this Sunday — which will also be Superbowl LII — I need to get a few things out of the way. I know that most Philadelphians are rabid Eagles fans — but “fanaticism” does not underlie any of the decisions our worship leaders made while planning this year’s Epiphany 5

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Hymns and Lessons for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany (Cycle B)

An “epiphany” is said to have happened whenever someone makes a breakthrough or has a “Eureka!” moment. Epiphanies are triggered when you get a new,key piece of information. To have an “epiphany” is like when you find the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle: suddenly the whole puzzle make sense. This entire season of the

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Hymns and Lessons for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany (Cycle B)

This Sunday is a big fishing Sunday! In the Old Testament lesson, the great fish has just spit Jonah out on the beach and immediately God has told Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh and speak God’s Word to them. He goes, but only 1/3 of the way into the city. He proclaims

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Hymns and Lessons for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany

This week we continue exploring the recurring Epiphany themes: light, enlightenment, God’s revelation of who Jesus Christ is, the Church’s proclamation of who Jesus Christ is. The lessons for this week are 1 Sam 3:1-20, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and John 1:43-51.  In the 1 Samuel lesson, God calls Samuel. God tells Samuel that He is going

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Reflections and Hymns for The Baptism of Our Lord (B)

No matter which version of The Baptism of Jesus you read, the story absolutely “knocks your socks off”! (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34.) Liturgically, the story of this Baptism is celebrated on the first Sunday following Epiphany. He whose birth we just celebrated now shows us how to be “born from above”

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