Lent here: Easter coming!

It has often seemed strangely poignant that Lent seems so often to be the time when events in the wider world turn awry.  A number of the (inter)national crises that have marked my life seem to have coincided with the beginning of Lent.  A couple of decades ago, Ash Wednesday saw the first of the mass funeral pyres of farm animals as the foot and mouth epidemic started to sweep across the west country, and I probably don’t need to remind people of the extended Lent that seemed to begin in the early months of 2020 as COVID-19 became a reality in our communities.  And so, this Lent we find ourselves drawn to reflect on our Christian calling as war unfolds in Europe.

Of course, this coincidence of dramatic events is almost certainly just to do with our perception.  The fact is that as the penitential seasons of Lent sets in we might naturally be drawn to look at the things that are not going too well in our world.  It is also the case that a number of similar (inter)national crises have struck at other seasons of the year: prominent examples might be the First Gulf War in the summer, and 9/11 in the autumn.

However, I think an important thing to pick up from this is that when these events happen in Lent our spiritual lives and the wider lives of our communities come emotionally closer together and speak to each other in a different way.  It may well be that this Lent we have been drawn into contemplation of the way that human pride, envy and fear can drive people to evil – and we might have glimpsed echoes of that in our own lives (for which we repent).  It is all too clear that the perfection to which creation is called is not being fulfilled with the wholehearted co-operation of the entire human race.  And we, and all people, are called to penitence.

But as the purple of Lent hangs over us, we can also look forward to the deep red of Passiontide and the golden glory of Easter.  Just as our response to the world is shaped by our Lenten journey, so it should be shaped by our realisation of the self-giving love that brought Christ into our world is a gift beyond measure, and the reality of a death which brings life should transform our world with hope.

One of the recurring undercurrents that I have noticed in the reports from Ukraine is the way that an underlying spiritual strength has been brought into focus as people have been called to defend what they hold dear.  So as we respond to what we see on our screens and read in our papers – hopefully with prayer, giving and action – so we should also listen.  Listen to the hope that is sustaining a people who one could not blame for having doubt, and seek to share that faith which brings joy out of sadness and light out of darkness.  Then maybe we can look afresh at our world – not with a sense of enduring a Lent, but the knowledge of an eternal Easter.

NICK BROWN, PRECENTOR

Worship & Mission

Weekly service schedule
The service sheet for the coming fortnight can be viewed on the cathedral website (click link to visit)

Forthcoming services:
10 April, Palm Sunday
10.30am Sung Eucharist and Procession of Palms with Reading of the Passion
3.45pm Choral Evensong

11 April Monday of Holy Week
5.30pm Choral Evensong with singing of Lamentations
(Pt I) by Tallis
7.30pm Compline, with Meditation

12 April, Tuesday of Holy Week
11am Chrism Eucharist
5.30pm Choral Evensong with singing of Lamentations
(Pt II) by Tallis
7.30pm Compline, with Meditation

13 April, Tuesday of Holy Week
5.30pm Choral Evensong
7.30pm Tenebrae: An evening service for Holy Week

14 April, Maundy Thursday
7.30pm Eucharist of the Last Supper, Stripping of the Altar and watch of the passion until midnight

15 April, Good Friday
9.30am Liturgy of Good Friday
12 noon Three Hours’ Devotion
16 April, Easter Eve
8pm Paschal Vigil with Baptism and Confirmation and First Eucharist of Easter
17 April, Easter Day
7.45am Litany
8am Holy Communion
10.30am Sung Eucharist for Easter Day
12.30pm Holy Communion
3.45pm Festal Evensong for Easter Day

Stillpoint
Meets next on Monday 11 April at 8.40am.
Future dates: 9 May, 13 June, 11 July

Sacred Space
Sunday 22 May, 7pm
Sacred Space is a gentle and reflective service with time to wonder, the opportunity to use all your senses to explore faith and the chance to experience the unique and serene atmosphere of the Cathedral as the day draws to a close. It is led by the Revd Canon David Dadswell.
The following date for Sacred Space is Sunday 17 July

Becoming Church: Five Bible Studies on Acts 2:42-47
Join the Precentor and John Davies at 4pm in the Cathedral Café on Monday afternoons for a Lenten Bible Study, beginning on Monday 7th March. No need to book – just come along and buy a tea – study materials provided

Prayers in memory of Bishop Bob Hardy
At evensong on Friday 1 April 2022
It is nearly a year since Bob Hardy, former Bishop of Lincoln, died. At the time it was not possible to hold a public service of recognition of his contribution to the life of the diocese, and it is planned to mark the anniversary of his death during Evensong at the Cathedral on Friday 1 April.  This service will take place at the normal time of 5.30pm, and will include a reflection on Bob Hardy’s contribution to the life of the diocese given by Alistair Redfearn and prayers of thanksgiving for his life and work.  All are welcome to the service, for which seating will be unreserved.

Stations of the Cross
Throughout Lent, from 9 March, 4.30pm on Wednesdays.
Join one of our Chaplains for this quiet and devotional reflection on the journey to the Cross.

Lent sermon series
At Evensong, 3.45pm Sundays
20 March – The Revd Canon Alyson Buxton, Team Rector of Boston, Director of Resourcing Sustainable Church and Chair of the House of Clergy
27 March –The Rt Revd Dr Nicholas A Chamberlain, Bishop of Grantham
3 April – Dr Sally Buck, Warden of Lay Ministry
10 April – Mr John Davies, Cathedral Reader

Community

Lent Almsgiving: Ukraine Appeal
The cathedral is supporting the work of DePaul International, an international charity group which works with the homeless. DePaul Ukraine has been present and working in Ukraine since 2007, so has existing connections with the region: https://int.depaulcharity.org/fundraising-for-depaul-ukraine/

The Christian inspiration behind the charity is Saint Vincent de Paul (1581–1660), a French priest and social reformer who dedicated himself to serving poor people and communities who is sometimes referred to as the “Patron Saint of Charity”.

Thank you
Many thanks for your patience while filming has been taking place in the Cathedral. The shoot is now complete and the crew are clearing the site.

Events

Chelys Consort of Viols and Fieri Consort concert
Saturday 19 March, 7pm
Chelys Consort of Viols and Fieri Consort join together for a programme celebrating the English composer Michael East.

Lincoln Choral Society Presents An Evening Of Elgar
Friday 29 April, 7.30pm
Lincoln Choral Society, conducted by Mark Wilde, are joined by the Lincolnshire Chamber Orchestra to perform in Lincoln Cathedral’s stunning Nave.
Throughout the evening the Lincoln Choral Society will perform three pieces from Sir Edward Elgar featuring soloist, Mezzo-Soprano, Catherine Carby.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Monday 23 May – Saturday 4 June
The Starring Lincoln Theatre Company return to Lincoln cathedral with a performance of the well-known Disney adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Lincoln Cathedral Flower Festival: Vision
Thursday 4 – Monday 8 August
The Lincoln Cathedral Flower Festival will take place in August 2022 celebrating 950 years of Lincoln Cathedral, and the visionaries who had the inspiration to build such a wonderful building and those who followed, changing our lives throughout history.

For full details of events, and to book tickets, please visit https://lincolncathedral.com/forthcoming-events/

Bible Readings

Sunday 20 March
Third Sunday of Lent

Eucharist
Isaiah 55. 1-9
1 Corinthians 10. 1-13
Luke 13. 1-9

Evening Prayer
Genesis 28. 10-19a
John 1. 35-end

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Sunday 27 March
Fourth Sunday of Lent

Eucharist
Joshua 5. 9-12
2 Corinthians 5. 16-end
Luke 15. 1-3, 11b-end

Evening Prayer
Prayer of Manesseh
2 Timothy 4. 1-18

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Sunday 3 April
Fifth Sunday of Lent

Eucharist
Isaiah 43. 16-21
Philippians 3. 4b-14
John 12. 1-8

Evening Prayer
2 Chornicles 35. 1-6, 10-16
Luke 22. 1-13

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