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Journey through Lent Ash Wednesday services Sterling Virginia
Lent Ash Wednesday Holy Week Sterling Virginia

LENT AT ST. MATTHEW'S

"The journey through Lent to Easter is a journey with Jesus"

-The Way of Love with Lent, Bishop Curry.


We welcome you to walk this journey with us at St. Matthew's.

LENT & HOLY WEEK SERVICES

Sundays at 8, 9:30 & 11 AM in-person and online.

St. Matthew's is located in Sterling, Virginia on Frederick Drive across from Briar Patch Park. For directions and to plan your visit, click the link below:

What is Lent Episcopal Catholic

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, Feb. 14th

Services at 6 AM, 12 PM & 7 PM

Begin the Lenten season with us for our Ash Wednesday service.

 

We invite you to join us for this Holy Eucharist service, where the imposition of ashes reminds us of our mortality.

Our 7 PM service is also available online.

Ash Wednesday Services Sterling Virgina
Northern Virginia Lent

Good Friday

Friday, March 29th

Services at 12 PM & 7 PM

Join us for Good Friday worship, a time for profound reflection on Christ's sacrificial suffering for our sins. Contemplate the depth of his sacrifice, enhancing the joy and gratitude we experience for the new life with Christ celebrated on Easter Sunday. This worship offers a meaningful journey toward Easter's resurrection celebration.

Good Friday Holy Week Lent Sterling Virgina
Catholic Church Lent Sterling Virginia

Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 24th

Services at 8, 9:30 & 11 AM

Join us  for the first day of Holy Week and Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. ​This service begins outdoors as we process into the church with palms, and includes a dramatic reading of the Passion of our Lord.

Children of all ages are invited to participate in the procession of the palms

Palm Sunday Holy Week Lent Sterling Virginia
Catholic Church Lent Sterling Virginia

Holy Saturday

Saturday, March 30th

Service at 10 AM

 

This simple and moving service, nestled between the solemnity of Good Friday and the exuberance of Easter, provides a moment for stillness and reflection. Join us in contemplating the significance of that Holy Saturday when our Lord lay in the tomb, 

Holy Saturday Sterling Virginia Lent
Lent Sterling VA

Maundy Thursday

Thursday, March 28th

Service at 7 PM

Experience the profound Maundy Thursday service, centered on the Last Supper and the institution of the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, and Communion. Engage in a meaningful foot-washing demonstration, culminating in the solemn Stripping of the Altar as part of this reflective and impactful worship experience. 

Maundy Thursday Lent Services Holy Week Sterling Virginia
Easter Services Sterling Virginia 2024

Easter Sunday

Sunday, March 31st

Services at

6:30 AM, 9:30 AM & 11:15 AM

Join our uplifting Easter Sunday services, filled with music, prayer, and a message of hope.  Check out our variety of services and children's Easter Events: 

LEARN MORE & PLAN YOUR VISIT

Easter Services in Sterling Virginia
Catholic Church Lent Sterling Virginia

Bible Study & Prayer Groups

Join us for one of our Small Groups through Lent to discover more on your Lenten Journey.

Lent Bible Study
Bible Study
Bible Study Sterling Virginia

Lent Bible Study

Wednesdays at 7 PM or Thursdays at 12 PM

BEGINNING FEB. 21/22

What can we learn from stories of wandering hearts in the Bible? Where do we see ourselves in these stories? We will explore the stories, make connections to stories from our lives, and leave each week with a new practice to help us listen for God’s voice.

Lent Devotional

Wandering Heart:
Figuring out faith with Peter
Lent Prayers

Explore the profound journey of Peter, one of Jesus' prominent disciples, in our new Lent series. Discover a relatable narrative of steadfastness and uncertainty, friendship and betrayal. Join us as we intertwine Peter's story with the timeless hymn "Come Thou Fount," resonating with each step in his faith journey. This Lent, reflect on your own faith stages and influences, harmonizing with the melody of God's grace. Wander with purpose, tuning your heart to sing in the streams of mercy that never cease. Embrace a transformative Lenten experience with us.

A limited supply of printed copies available at St. Matthew's for pick up by the front entrance of the sanctuary beginning Sunday, February 11th.

Catholic Church Lent Sterling Virginia
2024 Lent Devotional
Lent Sterling VA

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR A DEEPER LENTEN JOURNEY

Resources for Lent

St. Matthew's Blog

Posts by Rev. Rob Merola

& other authors

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Visit the St. Matthew's Blog for a variety of practical Lent recommendations from Fr. Rob and other contributors.

LECTIO 365

LENT: Wilderness Tales

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Elevate your Lenten journey with Lectio 365, a free daily devotional app for praying the Bible, also available in Spanish. Starting February 12th, delve into a transformative Lenten experience, navigating the Wilderness in our lives. Join a community exploring biblical stories, and witnessing how characters and communities lean on God and each other in seasons of wilderness. Embrace daily reflections and prayer, making this app your guide through Lent as you prepare for Easter. Immerse yourself in a meaningful spiritual practice, connect with scripture, and deepen your faith journey. 

Daily Prayer Podcast

by Forward Movement

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Elevate your Lenten season with "A Morning at the Office" – a daily Morning Prayer podcast. All three readings from the Book of Common Prayer (1979) and bonus prayers led by the engaging hosts, Rev. Canon Wiley Ammons and Rev. Lisa Meirow. Experience a meaningful journey through Lent with our thought-provoking and spiritually uplifting podcast. Join us for a daily dose of inspiration and prayerful reflection throughout this sacred season.

Episcopal Relief & Development

2024 Lenten Meditations

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Meditate on Psalm 51:10 during Lent with Episcopal Relief & Development's meditations by Miguel Escobar. Explore your faith journey and discover new perspectives through these reflections. With over 80 years of impactful work, Episcopal Relief & Development collaborates with supporters to bring lasting change worldwide, reaching over 3 million people annually. Aligned with Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 25, they focus on Women, Children, and Climate, creating measurable and sustainable impact. Immerse yourself in transformative Lenten reflections and join a community dedicated to positive change and spiritual growth. Embrace the season with meaningful meditation and global impact through Episcopal Relief & Development.

Biola University CENTER for CHRISTIANITY CULTURE & THE ARTS: The Lent Project

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Biola's Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts offers a FREE online Lent Project. Immerse yourself in daily reflections, Scriptures, devotions, fine art, poetry, and music, starting February 13th through April 6th. This year's focus is on the Apostle Paul, exploring his impactful writings shaping Christian theology. Embrace the sacrificial spirit of Lent with purposeful reflection and renewal, aligning your spirit with God. Access this enriching Lent Project to enhance your season of genuine repentance and commitment to Christ.

RECIPES

Meatless or Seafood

Recipes for Lent

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Thinking of giving up meat or trying a Fish Fry this Lent? Check out a few of these recipes

Forward Day by Day

by Forward Movement

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Tune in to our daily devotional podcast offering, featuring inspirational meditations centered around a selected Bible passage from the daily lectionary readings. Produced by Forward Movement, each episode provides a reflective journey through Scripture to uplift and inspire your day.

UTO: United Thank Offering

40 Days of Gratitude

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​Enhance your Lenten journey by integrating the United Thank Offering (UTO), a ministry of The Episcopal Church. Through UTO, foster a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude, contributing to the mission of the whole church. Sign up for text messages, book club, or download these resources for a deeply enriching Lent.

LENT PLAYLIST

Inspired by the Themes from our Lenten Devotional, Wandering Heart by A Sanctified Art

Lent Playlist

LENT FAQ'S

What is Lent Sterling VA

Lent is a season of slowing down, walking with Christ, and truly reflecting on the sacrifice He made for us. It is a moving and introspective season of the church year. There are traditionally 3 pillars of Lenten practice: Prayer, Fasting, and Giving.

Why is it called Lent?

"Lent" originates from Old English "lencten," meaning both "spring season" and the fasting period. The term traces back to West Germanic "langitinaz," representing the lengthening of days in spring. In Greek and Latin, Lent's names align with the numeric significance of 40. Despite English complexities, the etymology links to the lengthening days during spring, symbolizing this season of transition. Embrace the linguistic journey, recognizing "Lent" as intricately tied to the seasonal shift and the meaningful lengthening of daylight during this period.

How long is Lent?

Lent beings on Ash Wednesday and includes 40 days excluding Sundays. Sundays are considered Feast Days, allowing a break from 'fasting'. Spanning 40 days, Lent mirrors Christ's fasting during his wilderness temptation (Matthew 4:1-11), fostering reflection and preparation. 

Why Prayer, Fasting and Giving?

Derived from the Latin word "discere," meaning to learn, these disciplines instill the needed discipline for a closer Christ-following journey. Prayer opens us to God, fasting purifies, and giving alms channels God's mercy through us. The shared root of "disciple" and "discipline" underscores the commitment to learning and growing in Christ. Mastering these disciplines empowers us to control desires, fostering a closer connection with God. Giving alms, a response to God's abundant grace, allows His mercy to flow freely through our actions.

Is Lent supposed to be a sad time?

While Lent might seem somber to some, it's consistently describe it as a joyful season. Lent isn't inherently sad but rather sober, encouraging introspection. The joy within Lent is profound, an eyes-wide-open joy acknowledging Jesus' suffering, ultimately leading to the joy of the resurrection. This season prompts a mindful reflection on the transformative journey from suffering to joy.

What Christian Denominations Observe Lent?

The season of Lent is observed by Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Easter Orthodox, Presbyterian, Anglican, and Roman Catholic denominations, as well as some non-denominational Christians.

Why Ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Ashes on Ash Wednesday serve as a poignant reminder of mortality, prompting reflection on life's priorities. Symbolizing transformation and renewal, the ash-cross on foreheads signifies a commitment to change, to overcoming sin, and embracing a rebirth through Baptism. Facing our mortality encourages a profound willingness to align our lives with what truly matters. This ritual prompts introspection, urging individuals to contemplate their existence and make meaningful adjustments. The ashes, forming a cross, embody a visual pledge to undergo a spiritual metamorphosis, embracing the journey from acknowledging mortality to a renewed life of purpose and connection with one's faith.

Why do we give things up during Lent?

Giving up things during Lent is a practice of discipline, promoting self-control to shift focus from material desires to the deeper joy found in faith and Jesus Christ. This intentional sacrifice involves abstaining from unhealthy habits like smoking or overindulgence, redirecting attention toward spiritual growth. Beyond relinquishing detrimental behaviors, Lent encourages forsaking non-essential activities that clutter our lives, such as excessive TV or shopping. Clearing this clutter allows for a more meaningful connection with Jesus, emphasizing the importance of faith over distractions. By exercising discipline through these sacrifices, Lent becomes a transformative period for prioritizing spiritual well-being and fostering a closer relationship with Christ.

Why don't we say Alleluia during Lent?

During Lent, liturgical changes during the service, like the absence of the Alleluia, reflect the season's somber tone. "Alleluia" means "praise Yahweh" in Hebrew, traditionally symbolizing angelic worship around God's throne. Its omission aligns with Lent's reflective atmosphere, emphasizing repentance and preparation for Easter. Lent invites a solemn participation in worship, withholding the Alleluia until the joyous celebration of Easter.

When does Lent begin?

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent which begins on Wednesday, February 14th this year

What is Fasting?

Fasting is a practice of abstaining from specific foods, activities, and/or alcohol for physical and spiritual well-being. Rooted in ancient traditions, fasting carries historical significance among Jews and was taught and practiced by Christ and early Christians. This spiritual discipline fosters contrition, cleansing, and preparation. During Lent, Christians are encouraged to practice self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting, self-denial, and meditation on God's Word. Customize your fasting approach based on your circumstance, embracing this sacred season for meaningful reflection and connection with your spiritual journey.

Can I eat meat on Fridays during Lent?

While the Episcopal tradition doesn't strictly mandate abstaining from meat, individuals are encouraged to observe Fridays with personal acts reflecting Christ's self-sacrificing love. Find a way that is meaningful to you. Meat, associated with luxury, represents a sacrifice to live more modestly. Even vegetarians are encouraged to find alternative forms of sacrifice. In short, if you're asking 'can I eat meat?', 'can I eat chicken?' or 'what are the Lent meat rules?' on Fridays during Lent? The short answer is: it's a personal choice. We encourage you to find something meaningful to you to abstain from or take on as a way of spiritual practice during this season.

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