In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus connected fasting with charitable giving and prayer. In the early Church, new Christians spent a lot of time preparing for their baptism at the Easter Vigil. The season of fasting called Lent became the final and most intense part of the preparation. Since Christians understand Jesus’ death and resurrection as an essential part of our reconciliation with God, Lent also became a time to seek reconciliation.
Many Christian practices have developed over the last 1600 years, but Lent has remained a season of holiness and humility. A time to respond to God’s Word and deepen our relationship with God through charitable giving, abstaining from worldly pleasures, earnestly seeking God through study and prayer, and accepting our need for forgiveness and reconciliation.
Below are ways that members of St. James Cathedral are encouraged to deepen their relationship with God, and with others around them, this holy season of Lent.
Growing in Prayer...
St. James offers weekday Eucharist service at 12:10 p.m. in the Cathedral, Monday through Friday. During the season of Lent, Director of Music, Stephen Buzard, and Associate Director of Music, David Boeckh, will offer short voluntaries on the organ at the beginning of each daily 12:10 p.m. Eucahrist, and a mixture of hymns and Taize songs during the service. We hope you will take a break during your work day to worship with us during this holy season.
St. James continues to offer Zoom morning prayer at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. Either or both of these offer the opportunity to make a God-shaped space during the week, and I hope you might give renewed thought to how you might enhance your worship life in this way during this holy season.
On Wednesday evenings in Lent, we offer the simple service of Compline in St. Andrew's Chapel at 7 p.m. The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning 'completion' (completorium). It is above all a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day.
St. James offers three services every Sunday: 8 a.m. Spoken Eucharist, 9 a.m. Family Eucharist, and 11 a.m. Choral Eucharist (also live-streamed). Choral Evensong will be offered on March 5 and April 2 at 4 p.m.
St. James live-streams the 11 a.m. Choral Eucharist every Sunday along with other special services. Live-stream on our streaming page.
All are invited to subscribe to St. James' Sermons of the Day sent out each morning, Monday-Friday. Hear each of the St. James clergy reflect on the day's Gospel Reading.
As part of our Lenten discipline of almsgiving, we have named two recipients for this year's Lenten Appeal: Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and Cathedral Counselling Center.
Read more below to learn how these organizations offer hope and healing in a hurting world.
Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare
Trilogy is a nonprofit with over 50 years of experience serving low-income people with serious mental illness in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Many of those served are experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, chronic health conditions and other issues, and some are facing many of those issues simultaneously. Trilogy’s treatment plans support the whole person and empower each client to define and guide their recovery. Trilogy is helping nearly 4,000 individuals each year to maintain their stability in the community and avoid hospitalizations, stabilize after a crisis, receive counseling, therapy and primary care, access benefits including income and permanent housing, maintain their independence and more. Trilogy also supports people who live in nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities to transition to more independent living. Trilogy operates drop-in centers where food and clothing are provided to people who are un-housed and/or food insecure. Trilogy’s work supports people in their journey to recovery and saves lives every day.
Cathedral Counseling Center
The Cathedral Counseling Center was founded at St. James Cathedral in 1974 by The Rev. Anthony Henllan-Jones, a clinical social worker and Episcopal priest. CCC was housed at St. James Cathedral for many years until it moved to 50 E. Washington St in downtown Chicago when it outgrew the space at St. James. CCC helps people make sense of their lives during difficult times through profession, affordable, sliding scale mental health services. Experienced clinicians participate in the CCC mission by contracting their services at a portion of the market rate. They also build and support the professional community through their commitment to high standards and continuing education, training, and supervision opportunities. CCC is a member agency of Episcopal Charities & Community Services.
Growing in Faith...
The Forum: Expansive Language for God, Inclusive Language for God's People
Sundays at 10 a.m. beginning February 26
Our series continues in the season of Lent! Resuming on February 26, we will be looking at some of the trial liturgies we have been asked to try out and provide feedback for the wider church. As we explore our relationships with God and each other, we will examine what things are changed, what stays the same, and how we feel about the ongoing evolution of our prayers.
One Book, One Diocese: Resurrection Hope
Wednesdays March 1, 15, and 29 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom beginning March 1
This Lent, the people of St. Martin’s and St. James Cathedral will be entering into conversation together as we take part in the diocesan book study: Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter by the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas. In a three part Zoom study facilitated by clergy from both congregations, we are looking forward to building relationship and joining in conversation around this important and challenging text. You can order the book yourself or borrow/purchase a copy at St. James. Also, the book is available instantly on Amazon Kindle at $9.99. We recommend starting your reading now! The discussion group will meet from 6:30-7:30 p.m. via Zoom on three Wednesday evenings: March 1, March 15, & March 29. Please RSVP HERE to receive the Zoom link for the first session.
Lenten Retreat: "Beginning again...and Again... and Again"
Saturday, March18 from 9-3 p.m.
For several years, members of St. James have traveled to the DeKoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin to take part in a parish retreat. Those who have been able to attend know that these retreats are a time of both spiritual renewal and relationship building with other St. James members. This year we are going on retreat a bit closer to home.
We have been invited by the parishioners of St. Martin's in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago to join with them, and retreat facilitator Fr. Juan Reed, for a restorative day of rest and prayer. Join us for a joint Lenten Retreat hosted by St. Martin's Episcopal Church entitled "Beginning again...and Again...and Again". The retreat programming will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (lunch will be provided) and registration and continental breakfast will be available from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The retreat is offered free of charge, but there is a suggested donation of $25 to cover the cost of food. You can donate HERE.
If you would like to attend, please RSVP HERE by March 5. Please indicate any dietary restrictions and interest in carpooling on the form.