Worship, study, and service are the basics for religion.
We practice all three every day.
Worship is where we find value in ourselves, in others, and in God. We go to chapel every day. It is the one time when all of our Episcopal family is together. Students may sometimes squirm in chapel, but many alumni are now returning to be married and to have their babies baptized, so we know that chapel does take; students do get it!
Lent is the 40-day season in the church year that leads up to Easter. It began on Ash Wednesday, when we were marked with the sign of the cross in ashes on our foreheads and told, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We begin Lent, therefore, by recognizing our mortality, by asking God to forgive our sins, and by stating our desire to begin anew. The 40 days of Lent are characterized by taking a serious look at our lives and by preparing ourselves for the Easter that lies ahead.
Lenten Chapel Service
At EHS during Lent, Chapel looks and feels “different,” to remind us that this time is different, set apart, sacred. The chairs are arranged differently, and there are Lenten banners hanging on the walls, reminding us of some of the major themes of Lent. In the liturgy, we refrain from saying ‘Alleluia,’ and instead of the Doxology, we sing something called the Trisagion, which focuses on our need for God’s mercy. Every Friday, we will begin the service with a general Confession, and we’ll also chant the Psalm.
In addition to the traditional themes of Lent, the Student Chapel Committee will also be focusing our attention in Chapel on the world’s poor. They have a plan to raise our awareness of poverty that includes prayer, learning, giving, and acting. We will pray for the poor in Chapel. We’ll learn about poverty here and around the world from Chapel speakers, signs around campus, and some opportunities to learn about advocacy. The Chapel Committee is coordinating some opportunities for our community to give socks to the clients of the Star of Hope Mission, and they’ll teach us how we can act to change the course of poverty in our world.
During Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, there will be a number of private devotional stations set up in the Chapel, for anyone who is interested. You can take a prayer walk through a labyrinth, meditate on the Stations of the Cross, experience a foot-washing, or just enjoy quiet time. On Maundy Thursday, we will commemorate the Last Supper in Chapel with a Eucharist.
May you have a holy journey through Lent this year, and remember that your chaplains are here if you find that your journey takes you through any rough places.