Saturday, March 9, 2019

Lent I

Today is the first Sunday of Lent.  While the liturgy remains the same certain nuances signal change of liturgical seasons. 

·      The liturgical color has changed from green to purple 
       (or violet)
·      The entrance antiphon found on page 91 will be chanted.  
·      The procession will be accompanied by instrumental music
·      The Kyrie will be sung
·      The Gloria and the word Alleluia are omitted
·      The petitions and/or response will be sung.
·      The parts will be the Mass of Christ the Savior

The gospel for each of the 3 years in the lectionary cycle is the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert.   We begin a season of fasting, prayer and abstinence in preparation for Easter just as Jesus did in today’s reading.  Today’s music selections flow from this gospel. 

Our prelude, “Gracious God” (#118) begins “Lead Us, Lord into the desert; lead us through the wilderness.”  The refrain touches on another theme of lent; God’s mercy and Jesus’ redeeming love. 

I’ve placed “Led By the Spirit” (#125) at offertory because it combines the call from Joel 2 heard on Ash Wednesday with Jesus being led by the spirit in the wilderness.

The primary source of our communion song, On Eagles Wings (#436) is psalm 91.  It is what Satan quotes in his second temptation of Jesus.

“He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you…with their hands they will support you lest you dash your foot against a stone”
Psalm 91:11-12.

Today’s liturgy uses 2 verses from psalm 91 that are not mentioned in the song.   They are the entrance antiphon that will be chanted by the cantor.

When he calls on me I will answer him;
I will deliver him and give him glory,
I will grant him length of days
PS 91:15-16

The USCB commentary describes these verses as an “oracle of salvation promising salvation to those who trust in God.”  An oracle is a message from God.  There are three types of oracles: oracles of judgment, warnings and admonitions, and salvation. 

Our final song “Lead Me, Guide Me”  (#393) speaks similarly to our need to trust in God’s guidance and protection.  It was written by Doris Akers; a famous African- American, composer, arranger, pianist and choir director.

Wishing you a blessed Lent,


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