From the Archives

Preparation for a Holy Season of Lent

February 1, 2017

Today is exactly one month until Ash Wednesday. In honor of that, today we bring you the following from the archives.
In the February 1897 edition of the Parish News, The Rev. Jacob Le Roy, Rector wrote:

St. Martin's Parish News February 1897“Before the issue of the next number of the PARISH NEWS we shall have entered within the Holy Season of Lent. It is the duty of the Rector to remind the members of the congregation that the Holy Season itself needs preparation that it be not entered without thought of its purpose and the obligations it demands from us. The three weeks before Lent are intended to be preparatory to it. Those who defer all thought of Lent until the very opening day of the season, and then hastily form their resolutions and decide upon the character of their self-denials, cannot expect to derive great benefit from it. The spiritual benefit of the Holy Season depends upon our understanding the real nature of our needs. It should therefore be preceded by an honest and searching self-examination to discover the condition of our spiritual life, to find out the character of our besetting sins, and to determine where we especially fail of fulfilling our Christian obligations. If we do this, our Lenten resolutions will be of real value to us, and we may expect to find some divine blessing in store for us in the holy pilgrimage of these forty days of fast and prayer. An honest preparation will make the Lenten Season one of reality. The following rules will be of help in deciding how to keep Lent profitably:

    1. Be present, if possible, at all the services.
    2. Give a greater amount of time to the reading of the Bible and to your usual devotions. Meditate upon what you read.
    3. Let no day pass without some act of self-denial. Where the denial involves a saving of money, add the amount thus saved to your Easter offering.
    4. Let self-examination be a daily duty. Find fault with yourself instead of with others.
    5. Refrain from parties and places of amusement.
    6. Come often to the Holy Communion and make special preparation for your Easter Communion.”

Maybe not exactly what we’d suggest today, but something to contemplate the next few weeks! What other tips might you have for keeping a Holy Lent?

Be sure to mark Wednesday, March 1 on your calendar for our worship at 7 a.m., Noon (12:15), and 7 p.m. and Ashes All Day for those who cannot otherwise make the scheduled services.

Special thanks to The Very Rev. Hollinshead T. Knight, who recently delivered to us several documents saved since his grandfather and great-grandfather served on St. Martin’s Vestry.

Regular Sunday Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:15 a.m. worship.together (Eucharist for preschool families)
9:15 a.m. Parish Forum & Christian Education (Kairos)
10:30 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Morning prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Compline is offered at 7:00 p.m. on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, in the Church.

Choral Evensong is offered at 5:00 p.m. on 1st Sundays, Oct.-June, in the Church.

We would love to have you join us.


This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.

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