Holy Communion in Lent

How does our liturgy for Lent reflect the priorities of this spiritual season?

Lenten liturgy may include more space and silence, to allow the Holy Spirit room to work on our hearts and minds.

Lenten music may be simpler and quieter, perhaps with some unaccompanied singing. One tradition sees the word “alleluia” retired for the season, in order for it to come out in all its “praise the Lord!” glory on Easter day.

The Ten Commandments may be included, to remind worshippers of the profound wisdom of Jesus Christ who came not to abolish the law, but to fulfil it.  Earlier Anglican liturgies included the Ten Commandments, and the congregation would respond by asking that God would “incline our hearts to keep this law,” or to “write this law on our hearts by your Holy Spirit.”

A Prayer Book for Australia includes many Lenten variations for people’s responses, from opening greetings through to Eucharistic acclamations.  These can be difficult to track down when using a full copy of the Prayer Book, but a simple seasonal booklet can help congregations to pray with a distinct seasonal flavour.

Below, for use in the Diocese of Perth, are three versions of one possible way of putting together a Lenten order for the Eucharist.  Covering just the first five Sundays in Lent, the Word version contains all that the priest will need for 2015, with some notes at the end of the document explaining the principles behind the choices.  The pdf versions are in A5 booklet form and contain the congregation’s version. For more information, please contact The Reverend Elizabeth Smith

Holy Communion in Lent
Holy Communion in Lent 2014 with psalms
Holy Communion in Lent 2014 no psalms
Lent Holy Communion 2014 presider version