REPENTANCE AND PREPARATION.
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are at the heart of the Christian Gospel, and Good Friday and Easter are two of the most significant celebrations of the Christian year. Lent is a 40-day season of preparation and repentance during which we anticipate Good Friday and Easter. Just as we carefully prepare for big events in our personal lives, such as a wedding or commencement, Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ passion and celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.
The number 40 carries Biblical significance based on the 40 years Israel spent in the wilderness and Jesus’ 40-day fast in the wilderness. The 40 days of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday and continue through holy week, not counting Sundays, which are often reserved for celebratory worship as “Little Easters.”
As a period of preparation, Lent has historically included efforts by all to deepen their piety and devotion with readiness to mark the death and resurrection of their Savior.
From The Worship Sourcebook
Yet Even Now
How Deep The Father's Love For Us
Liturgy & prayers
A Prayer for a Gospel-Inundated, Grace-Soaked Lenten Season
from Every Season Prayers by Scotty Smith
Lord Jesus, it’s Ash Wednesday—the beginning of the season of Lent. For the next forty days we have the privilege of surveying Your cross, lamenting our sin, and resting in Your righteousness. For Your glory and our growth, we ask You to inundate us with fresh grace in the coming weeks. Convince us again that we are much more beloved than broken.
Indeed, we don’t want an ordinary Lenten season, Jesus. Melt us in Your mercies and overwhelm us with Your love. Astonish us with Your kindness, for Your kindness leads us to repentance. It’s all about You, Lord Jesus. It is all about what You’ve done for us, not what we promise to do for You. It’s not about beating ourselves up, it’s about lifting You up.
That’s why we begin Lent today anticipating our wedding, not our funeral; for You are the perfect Bridegroom who died to make us Your cherished bride. The work has been done, the dowry has been paid in full, and the wedding dress of your righteousness is ours. The invitations have been sent out and the date has been set. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Over these next forty days give us an insatiable hunger for Yourself, Lord. Reveal new dimensions of Your love, and intensify our longing for the Day of consummate joy—the wedding feast of the Lamb.
In light of that banquet, we choose to deny ourselves (fast) certain pleasures for this brief season; but we’re not looking to get one thing from You, Jesus—just more of You. Fill our hearts with Your beauty and bounty. So very Amen we pray, in Your holy and loving name.
Collect For Purity
from The Book Of Common Prayer
to You all hearts are open, all desires known, and from You no secrets are hid.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love You
and worthily magnify Your holy name,
through Christ, our Lord.