Churches plan special Lent services

Published 2:21 am Saturday, February 6, 2016


The good times are rolling in New Orleans, Mobile, and other cities that celebrate Mardi Gras, the period of revelry that precedes Lent, traditionally a 40-day period (excluding Sundays) of fasting in the Christian church that precedes Easter Sunday.

Local churches have planned several special events.


Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras officially ends on Tues., Feb. 9, which is “Fat Tuesday,” or “Shrove Tuesday.”

At Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, the day will be marked with a traditional pancake supper from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the parish hall. The cost is $5 per person, or a maximum of $15 for a family.


Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Traditionally, Christians have ashes applied in the shape of a cross to their foreheads. The ashes are obtained from the burning of the palms of the previous Palm Sunday. The ashes are an outward sign of penance.

St. Mary’s will hold Ash Wednesday services at noon and 6 p.m.


First United Methodist Church of Andalusia will have luncheon services each Wednesday during Lent. The services will be held at noon in the sanctuary, and will be followed by lunch at 12:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Lunches are $5.

Dr. Jason Thrower, pastor of FUMC, wrote in his comments for church members,”Before we can truly celebrate Easter, first we must grieve the death of our Savior. This season of Lent is a long journey which may seem at times difficult and stretching.”

But Thrower is encouraging church members to enrich the period by “adding to.”

“Lent is typically thought of as a time to give up something, but it also is a time to ‘add to,’ ” he said, encouraging parishioners to spend additional time in prayer, study, and in worship.

FUMC’s Lenten series begins this week, on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Speakers include:

• Karl Stegall, Wed., Feb. 10. He served as senior minister of First Methodist Church of Montgomery for 24 years and is a former district superintendent.

• Chris Eckert, Wed., Feb. 17. Eckert currently serves as district superintendent of the Demopolis district.

• John Ed Mathison, Wed., Feb. 24. Mathison served Frazier Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery for 36 years.

• Dan Morris, Wed., March 2. Morris is the pastor of Daphne United Methodist Church and a former district superintendent.

• Herb Sadler, Wed., March 9. Sandler is executive director of the Academy for Congregational Excellence. Previously, he served as pastor of Gulf Breeze United Methodist for 30 years.

• Jeremy Pridgeon, Wed, March 16. Pridgeon currently serves as the bishop’s assistant. He is a former associate pastor of Montgomery First United Methodist Church and a former district superintendent.

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church will have informal, “come as you are” communion services at 5:30 p.m. each Wednesday during Lent. They will be followed by supper in the parish hall.