Thursday, February 27, 2020

Lent I



Image result for jesus in the desert images

“Come, beloved, and rest your mind;  Leave the things of this world behind.  Here I will be your daily bread, all that you need.”
 From “Into the Desert” words and music Curtis Stephan

Today’s Liturgical note comments on the liturgy, readings and music in the order in which they occur on this First Sunday in Lent.

Prelude:         Into the Desert       Not In hymnal
This song guides us towards the focal point of the First Sunday in Lent.  Jesus is led into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  The first line (found at the top of the page) speaks to the first temptation - bread.  It also makes a subtle reference to Jesus as God’s “beloved” as found in next week’s gospel.

Chanted entrance antiphon and instrumental procession
The entrance antiphon (introit) is part of the Introductory Rite.  We chant it at St. Mary’s during lent to highlight the solemn nature of the season.  Today’s antiphon is taken from psalm 91, the source of both the devil’s temptation and Jesus’ words of resistance.  The instrumental procession creates space for personal reflection as the server carries the cross - the symbol of Christ’s sacrifice and ultimate victory over sin and death.

Sung Kyrie
One of the earliest prayers of the church translated from the Greek as “Lord have mercy.”  We sing the Kyrie during lent to highlight the penitential nature of the season.

Scripture readings
The compilers of the lectionary pair the Genesis story where Adam and Eve are tempted by the serpent with Matthew’s gospel where Jesus is tempted by the devil.  In the second reading, Paul explains the relationship between the two stories.

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—
                                                Romans 5:12

In psalm 51 we sing the psalmists plea for God’s mercy.

Chanted Prayer of the Faithful
The response; Lord have mercy and the music setting reflect the solemn nature of the season.

Offertory       Gracious God           #118
The refrain to this song describes God’s abundant mercy.

Mass of Christ the Savior  #912, 915, 916, 917
We sing this setting for both lent (where the Gloria is it omitted by liturgical rule) and the Easter season.  The Lenten Memorial acclamation speaks of Christ’s cross and resurrection as the way to salvation.

Communion                         On Eagles Wings      #436
A modern-day anthem based on psalm 91 and so connected to today’s gospel.  It was written by Fr. Michael Joncas as a prayer for strength during the difficult times of life’s journey.  

Recessional     Forty Days and Forty Nights          #127   
An important part of our musical and Lenten tradition and a reminder that Lent is greater than any one or even the sum of it’s parts.  I hope you will stay and pray the entire song.

Blessed to walk this Lenten journey once again with you at St. Mary’s,

Bruce.    



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