In the past, the Spiritual Development Committee has occasionally published one or two previous years’ entries in the annual Lenten Devotional booklet. In doing so, it allows the reader to not only reflect on parishioners’ thoughts and perceptions from the past, but also to recognize and remember members of our parish family who are no longer with us.
The committee has chosen 2013 as our year of reflection on past devotions and is re-publishing Ascension’s Lenten Devotional booklet from 1998. The year 1998 is of great significance to us because fifteen years ago we were also participating in a rector search, or a “year of transition,” as we are currently again in 2013.
We hope you will enjoy reading the devotions from fifteen years ago. You will see familiar names, as well as names you may not recognize. Please know that everyone featured in 1998 was a faithful member of our parish and shared the same passion and energy for Ascension as we do today.
Gathered here are 40 meditations, one for each day of Lent (not including Sundays, which, technically, are feast days). The Evangelism Committee of the Church of the Ascension has invited parishioners to take a day’s readings, from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, and write a short meditation. These meditations are intended to be read quietly or aloud, or to be studied in conjunction with the evening Eucharist, daily at 6 P.M. at the Church of the Ascension (Fifth Avenue at Tenth Street). Or simply to be opened at random — during Lent or throughout the year.
The points of view and insights contained within this booklet are as diverse as they are wonderful, and I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I have. The minds behind the faces in the pews are a delight with which to become better acquainted.
Lent can seem, by its nature, a dark time in the church. It is a time of self-examination and self-denial. A great sadness seems to weigh on us as we await the Resurrection and the triumph of Easter Sunday. How fortunate we are not to have to navigate this path alone. How fortunate we are to have Christian fellowship and the love of God to guide us along our way. May these meditations keep you company on your journey, and provoke you to think and rejoice and question and weep and giggle and pray. And may we rest assured that this year, as every year, our sadness is simply a door we must walk through.
Let’s walk through it together.
- Read parishioners’ reflections from the 1998/2013 Lenten Devotional