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Each year, the Christian church embarks on a forty-day journey leading up to Easter, recognized as the season of Lent. When discussing Lenten liturgical techniques of Lutherans, I think one can identify three various categories into which every practice deserve to be placed: Visual, Historical/Traditional, and Emotional/Spiritual. It have the right to be debated; however, that few of the practices autumn into multiple categories—and rightfully so.

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The very first visual ingredient is the of the color purple that adorns the Lord’s residence in assorted manners throughout the season that Lent. The dye to make purple to be very daunting to resource in old times, therefore attributed come royalty, and also adorned the Christ only once—as He was mocked and ridiculed as the “King that the Jews” before His gruesome crucifixion. This deep hue has concerned represent solemnity, penitence, and also prayer as God’s human being meditate top top the agony His boy willingly endured. Twice in the Lenten season, top top Ash Wednesday and an excellent Friday, the Lord’s house may it is in adorned with the color black which to represent the lack of light and the curse that sin and darkness which fell over development that just the fatality of the perfect kid of God could abolish.

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The 2nd visual component is that of the sign of the cross used upon the repentant Christian’s forehead during the imposition of ashes ~ above Ash Wednesday. Generally utilizing ash created by the burning of palms from the vault Palm Sunday, this symbolic rite is a reminder of the sign of the cross that was placed on united state in ours Baptisms, ours mortality (“Remember: you are dust, and also to dust friend shall return.”), and also the filth of ours sin that has been washed clean through the blood the Jesus.

A historical/traditional component of the Lenten season is the omission of words “Alleluia” from the liturgy and also hymnody and also an omission the the chant of Praise. “Alleluia”—a Hebrew word an interpretation “Praise the Lord”—returns full-voice in the glorious solemn event of Easter morning. A long-standing practice at ours Savior in Hartland is the singing of a remarkable beautiful setup of “Farewell come Alleluia” by Olin Jones. Together the conclusion come the Transfiguration the Our mr service, the anthem wafts native the mouths of the Cantate choir in the balcony at the behind of the nave and greets the ear of the congregants below as lock kneel in solemn reverence and also meditation—marking a poignant change into the divine time of Lent/Easter.

A historical service, the great Vigil that Easter, on the eve of Easter Sunday, had fallen the end of usual practice, however is recently experiencing a resurgence. The service—which is centered on the themes that darkness come light, and also God’s rescue of His people—includes the services of light (including the Kindling that a new Fire), the Word, holy Baptism, and also the divine Eucharist.

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As discussed earlier, the emotional/spiritual personality of the Lenten season is just one of penitence. Linked to the good Vigil of Easter; however, the season of Lent may additionally be among preparation, as catechumens who had been prepared, to be appointed to be baptized throughout the service of divine Baptism in the Easter Vigil service.

The practice of fasting (or “giving miscellaneous up”) during Lent is not compelled for Lutherans due to the fact that it is not commanded in divine Scripture. Rather, together a issue of Christian freedom, starving oneself of a pleasure of the meat is a way to remember daily the good sacrifice the Jesus on the overcome to pay for the world sin.

You may currently be well-along your Lenten journey. May it be a blessing come you together you again endure the depth of Jesus’ obedience and also the good love the God to redeem a civilization so no hope in require of salvation.

Jonathan A. Swett is Kantor of our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church and also School, Hartland, Mich.

Bibliography:

Douglas K. Escue, “Colors of the Liturgical Season,” Lutheran praise Notes, Issue 29 (1994).

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Thoma, Christopher. Kids in the magnificent Service. St. Louis: the supervisory board on prayer of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, 2000.