Monday, February 6, 2012

Lent Midweek Services

As in many other parishes, we hold an additional prayer office each week in Lent. Compline has settled into being the office we use most years, though Vespers and Evening Prayer have had their turns. But what of the readings?

There are several good options - the readings from The Treasury of Daily Prayer probably make the most sense. If you are encouraging your people to be about the Daily Office, then this is the place to start. Or reading through the catechism - as Lent is the time of catechesis in the liturgical year. Or preaching on the previous Sunday's Epistle, or through the Easter Vigil readings one per week. All of these ideas are great and are, in my opinion, vastly superior to the canned and often down right corny themed series available from a host of Christian publishers: Crosses of Lent, Valleys of Lent, Disciples of Lent. And please, please, Pastor: no play acting from the pulpit. Please do not dress up and pretend you are St Peter or Barabbas or Pontius Pilate. Please.

Lent is for catechesis, not only for the congregation, but for the preacher. As such, this year I want to reread Luther's Galatians commentary and our readings for Compline will simply be a continuous reading of that book.



  1. I'm "worker-priesting" now. It's not the best arrangement. Do you have your readings selected yet? If so, would you post them? Peace.

  2. Fr. Wurst,

    Nothing complicated here - I'm just reading the whole of Galatians over the five services (we have daily Mass for Holy Week). That's a pretty long reading each week, but with the shortness of any of the evening prayer services, you'll easily still make it out of there within 45 minutes.

    God bless you as you continue to serve the people of God in a difficult situation.


  3. Thanks, dear Father. My energy level is pretty low and the thought of grinding out an extra sermon is not pleasant. This (or something like it) will help to relieve my considerable anxieties.

  4. How about the Passion History from one of the gospels, or from a harmony such as Bugenhagen's? I always thought that was the most common thing to read at midweek Lenten services.
    Rob Lawson


Comments are moderated. Neither spam, vulgarity, comments that are insulting, slanderous or otherwise unbefitting of Christian dignity nor anonymous posts will be published.