The Second Sunday in Lent, Solemn Mass, by the Reverend Dr. James C. Pace

As I have told you many times, I grew up in the Episcopal Church. I grew up around, through, and within its liturgies of life, death, and everything in between, and they have changed my life. I can remember even as a small boy, that I loved the season of Lent. I loved the purple vestments and altar frontals. They were elegant, royal. My mother was the altar guild directress at St. Mary’s Church in Palmetto, Florida. My dad was the treasurer, lay reader, and a chalice bearer. And a few days before Lent began, dad would bring out this really tall step ladder and carefully traipse it into the sanctuary, and together, we would drape the huge crucifix above the altar with a really thin purple veil. It was a sheer veil that covered the corpus of Christ. When it hung there, it cast an eeriness over us all. At least it did to me. The body of Christ on the cross looked shrouded. I loved the season of purple. And though I lapse into such recollections all too frequently now, it is good to remember how the church and its liturgies shape our lives.
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