Embedded in the rhythm of our church year is the observance of Lent. This holy season begins this week and we invite you to be intentional about your spiritual journey and find the renewal and growth in your connection to God that comes with the season.
What is Lent?
Lent is a period of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter where Christians focus on spiritual purification, meditation, and repentance. It lasts 40 days, not including Sundays, drawing from the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert before starting his ministry.
Who participates in it?
Lent is observed at Bay Shore Church and by most Christian groups, including Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans, and Lutherans. However, it is not generally practiced by Baptists and other evangelical congregations.
Do you have to give something up?
Not necessarily. The focus of the season is on spiritual growth and connection with God. Oftentimes Christians choose to take on something during Lent, like reading more of the Bible or completing daily devotions.
Fasting is a traditional part of Lent, but not everyone does it. Its purpose is to symbolize solidarity with those who do not have enough to eat and to remember our dependence on God for everything that we really need. Some people do this by giving up a luxury or by completing acts of charity.
What is Happening at Bay Shore Church?
See below for information about a special sermon series and a class led by Pastor Susie. Lenten devotionals produced by the UCC are available for your use.
Ash Wednesday, March 6th, marks the beginning of the Lenten season. We conduct a simple service of scripture, prayer, and the imposition of ashes to mark the start of this special season.
Choir Cantata, March 31. Our chancel choir will perform a beautiful cantata titled “Lenten Reflections.”Featuring the music of Bach, Gounod, Handel, Mendelssohn and Rutter, our cantata will feature our Chancel Choir and Section Leader/Soloists accompanied by Robert York and a string quartet. Through word and song we explore some of the overarching themes of the Lenten season: love, grace, mercy, surrender and redemption.
Palm Sunday, April 12.The Sunday before Easter, Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. On that day the crowd put palm branches on the ground beneath the feet of the donkey Jesus was riding. We will have lots of palms around and the children will be an active part of our service.
Maundy Thursday, April 18 This day focuses on the last supper Jesus had with his disciples before he was arrested. We have a special communion service in Gabrielson Chapel to mark this holy day.
Good Friday, April 19. This day commemorates the crucifixion and Jesus’s death. The sanctuary will be open during the day for prayer and we will have prayer stations for your reflections.
Easter Sunday, April 21.The Lenten journey ends when we rise on Easter morning and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a triumphant day for Christians, serving as a reminder of Christ’s conquering of death and the new life that is made possible for us today and into our futures.