“Lent” comes from the ancient word lencton - the time of year when the days grow long.
The season begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday, covering forty days (excluding Sundays).
The five Sundays during Lent are followed by Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week.
March 13, 2020
This morning, Bishop Sean sent a letter to our partnership dioceses temporarily suspending all in-person worship effective Sunday, March 15. "The COVID-19 epidemic is spreading so quickly that I cannot in good conscience permit gatherings that could easily hasten the spread of the disease and contribute to the collapse of our health care system," he writes. "My only concerns are the safety of the people of our dioceses and the welfare of the communities in which we live and work."
This means that we will not gather as a community at St. Mark's this coming Sunday, March 15, and all activities and meetings after that will move online. While this Friday's fish fry will take place as planned, the March 20, 27 and April 3 dinners have been cancelled.
We know this is already a time of anxiety and uncertainty for many, and that this will be yet another adjustment during this period. Please know that though we will not be gathering physically in the same place, we will remain a prayerful community in the Body of Christ. While difficult, this act of not gathering together during this time strikes us as just the sort of love and care for our neighbors we have seen the members of this congregation show over and over again.
This Sunday, we invite you to worship online with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who will preach and preside at an 11 a.m. Eucharist at Washington National Cathedral. The cathedral is closed until March 25 as part of the Diocese of Washington's response to the coronavirus, and the service is being held solely for the purposes of streaming it online.
Starting Sunday, March 22, St. Mark's and the Cathedral of St. Paul will offer a joint online worship service. We will be sharing links to this through the weekly email, Facebook and on the website in coming days.
We know that not all members of the St. Mark's community have ready access to a computer or high-speed internet. If you or someone you know is in this position, please let Carly or Craig know at (814) 480-9959, and we will provide remote worship opportunities as well as updates by phone.
While we will be working remotely, we will remain in touch with you regularly to share information and updates as needed. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call us at (814) 480-9959.
This is the kind of Lenten journey none of us anticipated. We will share it together with love, care and even a sense of fun as we try on new things and new ways of doing things. Pray for one another, for our community, and for the needs of the most vulnerable among us.
Carly and Craig