Explanation of Changes in the Church and Liturgy During Lent

Lent changes
There are a number of alterations made both in the decorations of the church as well as in the regular liturgy during Lent. Some of these include:

Liturgical Colors -The altar hangings are purple, a color of Jesus’ royal kingship and of his royal priesthood, as he embraces suffering and finally death on the cross for his people.

Processional Cross -The regular shiny brass processional cross is replaced by a plain, wooden processional cross, reminding us of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on a tree. His sacrifice defeats death and makes us whole.

Flowers – There are no flowers on the altar during Lent, reflecting the focus on repentance over celebration.

Penitential Order – There are changes in the liturgy during Lent as well. The service starts with the Penitential Order, which focuses on confessing our sins and receiving forgiveness from the very beginning of our worship.

Music – The music used for the regular parts of the Eucharist changes; it is more in a minor key and in a more transcendent style.

Eucharistic Prayers – During Lent we will use Eucharistic Prayer C which is more penitential and requires greater participation from the congregation.

Post Communion Prayer – At the end, the post-communion prayer is different, demanding our attention to the actual words of what we are praying.

Alleluia – All Alleluias are dropped during Lent, reflecting that Lent is again about penitence over celebration.

Hymns – The hymns during Lent are different in character, with words that draw us to the holiness of God and our need for God’s forgiveness and grace.

All of these changes to the liturgy during Lent are designed to get our attention and force us to engage the experience in a more present way. Hopefully our Lenten Services will help to take each of us out of our comfort zone and truly reflect on our lives and relationship with Christ.

Many Blessings My Friends,

Fr. Mike