The Revised Common Lectionary is used by many churches to shape worship around a scripture passages that rotate in a three year cycle (A,B, and C). The church year begins on the first Sunday of Advent (today). If you are a part of a church that follows this cycle, today you began reading from year A. The senior pastor at Third Church decide that this year he would like to explore year D. The Year D project is an effort to include texts that the RCL does not include (that’s the short version, if you want to learn more there is a lot to explore on the project’s website). You may remember that I shared Year D texts for Advent too.
I originally decided to shift back to year A for blog purposes for Lent because Year D was done after the “Remembering the Women” resource I’ve been using to amplify texts that include biblical women or feminist themes. But since I was asked to create content for Lent Year D, I figured I would also share it on the blog too.
I plan to focus on the Psalm readings. I did a liturgy writing exercise with the Third Church session at the meeting prior to lent that included reading psalms, highlighting words that stick out, identify what could be used from the Psalm as call to worship or prayer of confession, and write phrases or prayers in your own words. It was challenging for some and fun for others. At least they now know how I come up with liturgy that doesn’t come from our book of common worship. The senior pastor is planning to create content on Galatians or John’s gospel as he was planning to do with his sermons.
Ash Wednesday: Psalm 102
1st Sunday in Lent: Psalm 6
2nd Sunday in Lent: Psalm 143
3rd Sunday in Lent: Psalm 38
4th Sunday in Lent: Psalm 39
5th Sunday in Lent: Psalm 101
6th Sunday in Lent (Palm Sunday): Psalm 94 or Psalm 35
I’m not sure if I will stick with this for Holy Week. I have another resource I was planning to draw from for blogging, but we’ll see what happens.
I suppose it’s obvious that I’m creating more content for Lent because of the closures and for people in quarantine this season. Many of us did not plan on giving up this much for Lent. During our devotional time last month, I asked session (governing body of Presbyterian Churches) to write down what they wanted Lent to be like and I noticed that many of the elders (what we call session members) didn’t want this season of Lent to be sad, or full of guilt. Many of them expressed that they wanted this year to be different, significant in some way, and prayer-filled. I hope that we are getting something better than all of us imagined. I think we will learn to be connected in different ways and that those connections will strengthen our relationships. I look forward to the joyous celebration when we are all together again (hoping that it’s Easter Sunday, for the theological significance and easy sermon topic) but I know that it might not be then either. But whatever day it is when we are all gathered together in one place, it will be a Holy Day.