Worship

Ash Wednesday & Lent

Ash Wednesday and the Beginning of Lent

March 1: Ash Wednesday
Ashes are imposted throughout the day, in between the services listed below.
8am The Ash Wednesday Liturgy (Said)
12:10pm The Solemn Liturgy of Ash Wednesday (Choral)
5:30pm The Solemn Liturgy of Ash Wednesday (Choral)

Ever since Adam and Eve chose to do things their own way rather than God’s way—ever since that choice to step outside the protection of God’s grace has resulted in sin and death rather than blessing and life—the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve have lived in a world where “getting and spending we lay waste our powers” (Wordsworth), while we lay up for ourselves “treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19).

All of us, if we are honest, know in our hearts that there is more to life than what these corruptible treasures provide. Ash Wednesday is the Church’s wonderful day of honesty, a day in which we acknowledge that there really is no future in the way we have been living.

The future lies in the hands of Almighty God. God has provided a way out of the dust and ashes we have chosen, a way forward, into something better. We hear the essentials of what God has provided in 2 Corinthians, chapter 5: "We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

The language of the Ash Wednesday liturgy is severe. It does not flatter us or yield any ground to pride. It strictly states what is the case between us and God as a result of sin. But it does all this with an eye on the future: our redemption by Jesus Christ.

Severe as it is, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Church’s Easter observance. The ashes acknowledge our sure and certain death. They are smeared right on our foreheads. “Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” But words to the same effect are read on Easter Day when we hear the Apostle declare to the Colossians: Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. We are dead – yet Christ lives – and therefore so can we. Ash Wednesday is the early installment of the Easter Gospel.

And so it is that in the name of the Crucified and Risen Christ, we invite you to observe a Holy Lent. As you can see on the calendar, Lent in 2017 begins March 1 and continues into the first part of April continues, culminating in the amazing drama of Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday on April 9.

Throughout Lent, the Church offers suggestions about what to do in response to the news that Christ has died our death for us and risen victorious from the grave. It does this by focusing our attention on our three most important relationships – with God, with our neighbors, and within ourselves. These are the three traditional disciplines of prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

For prayer, consider attending weekday services at Saint Thomas, in addition to Sunday worship, or consider saying the Daily Office on your own at home. If you would like to learn how, simply email us. For almsgiving, consider not only financial ways of helping those in need around you, but also volunteering, or resolving to practice more kindness, neighborliness and hospitality in your life. Finally, for fasting, consider following the example of the saints, and fasting from sin of all types, including the sins of pride, envy and deceit.

Also, on Saturdays during Lent, from 11am - 12pm, those who wish to make their Confession may do so with a priest inside the church

However you practice Lent, we invite you to do so with the Body of Christ at Saint Thomas Church.

Five Sundays in Lent before Palm Sunday

To understand the degree to which God is Love, you can’t truly celebrate Easter without also observing Lent and Holy Week. The five Sundays in Lent leading up to Palm Sunday (April 9) take us from Satan tempting Christ to assume all earthly power over all people, all the way to Christ humbling himself before earthly powers that he might save all people once and for all. We invite you to worship with us each week during Lent, and we encourage you to pay close attention. The investment in worshipping in the Anglican tradition during this time yields an extraordinary payoff to those who choose to fully participate: an Easter Day rich in joy and deep in understanding. If you can’t be with us in person throughout the Lenten Season, we invite you to worship with us via the webcasts.

March 5: The First Sunday in Lent

  • 8am Said Eucharist
  • 9am Sung Eucharist
  • 11am Litany & Choral Eucharist sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys
  • 4pm Choral Evensongsung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys

March 12: The Second Sunday in Lent

  • 8am Said Eucharist
  • 9am Sung Eucharist
  • 11am Choral Eucharist sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys
  • 4pm Choral Evensong sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys

March 19: The Third Sunday in Lent

  • 8am Said Eucharist
  • 9am Sung Eucharist
  • 11am Choral Eucharist sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys
  • 4pm Choral Evensong sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys

March 26: The Fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare)

  • 8am Said Eucharist
  • 9am Sung Eucharist
  • 11am Festal Eucharist sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys
  • 4pm Festal Evensong sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys

April 2: The Fifth Sunday in Lent

  • 8am Said Eucharist
  • 9am Sung Eucharist
  • 11am Litany & Choral Eucharist sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys
  • 4pm Choral Evensongsung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys

Weekday Services throughout Lent

Saint Thomas offers at least one opportunity to worship every single day of the year. Some services are said and some are sung.

Among the offerings is Choral Evensong on many Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning at 5:30pm, usually lasting about 45 minutes, and followed by a brief, said Mass. See a list of upcoming choral services.

In additional to choral services, Saint Thomas offers more than a dozen said services each week in the Chantry Chapel, which is located to the left side of the church after you enter the Fifth Avenue doors. On Mondays through Fridays, these services include Morning Prayer and Mass at 8am and a Mass at 12:10pm. On Mondays and Fridays, Evening Prayer and a Mass are said at 5:30pm in lieu of Choral Evensong. On Saturdays, there is a single celebration of the Eucharist at 12:10pm. See a list of all daily services.

Questions? Email us.