by Ben Sworh
This page was updated:
04/01/2012 01:27 PM
As we prepare for Christmas, we light
a new candle each Sunday;
as we prepare for Good Friday, we extinguish
a candle each Sunday
to remind us of the approaching darkness of betrayal and
First Sunday in Lent
candle is extinguished after the reading; the People stay standing, the Leader
says: Today is the first Sunday
in Lent. As the first candle is extinguished, reflect on this Prayer for
Quiet Confidence from the Book of Common Prayer. "O God of peace, who has
taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in
confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we
pray, to Your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God."
Second Sunday in Lent
is the second Sunday in Lent. As the second candle is extinguished,
meditate on these words of St. Teresa of Avila, which remind us of our Christian
vocation: "Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but
yours. Yours are the eyes with which He looks Compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good; yours are the hands with
which He blesses all the world. Christ has no body now on earth but
Third Sunday in Lent
is the third Sunday in Lent. As the third candle is extinguished,
contemplate St. Francis of Assisi"s Prayer for Meditation: "Lord, make me
an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where
there is despair, hope. where there is darkness, light. And where
there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as
to love. for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we
are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
Forth Sunday in Lent
is the fourth Sunday in Lent. As the fourth candle is extinguished,
meditate on these words which are written the wall of Mother Teresa's home for
children in Calcutta, India. "Do It Anyway" People are often
unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you
are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives; be kind
anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and
some genuine enemies; succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere,
people may deceive you; be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years
creating, others could destroy overnight; create anyway. If you find
serenity and happiness, some may be jealous; be happy anyway. The good you
do today will often be forgotten; do good anyway. Give the best you have,
it will never be enough; give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it
is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Fifth Sunday in Lent
is the fifth Sunday in Lent. As the fifth candle is extinguished, consider
this prayer offered by Dr. Christine Sine of Seattle, WA. "May we look and
listen, responding to the Spirit of God who lives within us, may we throw off
the grave clothes that confine us, and take on the life of the One who raised
Christ from the dead. We who were once in darkness have now found light in
Christ; He who dwells within us is the Light of the World. May we live as
children of Light, bearing fruit by doing all that is right and good and true."
Sixth Sunday in Lent - Palm Sunday
Today is the sixth Sunday in Lent, Palm
Sunday.. As the sixth and final candle is extinguished, reflect on these
excerpts of a Prayer for Hope, offered by Annabel Shilson-Thomas of the United
Kingdom. "Lord, you set your face towards Jerusalem and walked alongside
those who suffer. Be our vision that we, too, may walk the way of the
cross and extend a hand to those we meet. Lord, you stopped to heal the
sick, cure the lame, and give sight to the blind. Be our vision that we,
too may give time to others and respond to their needs. Lord, give us the
gladness of your help, and support us with a willing spirit."
On Good Friday, we extinguish the last candle.
Easter Sunday, all of the darkened candles will be re-lit, signifying the Light
of the World, which darkness cannot extinguish.
photos by Ed Champa