Invitation to the Observance of Lenten Discipline
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
The early Christians observed with great devotion
The days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church that before the Easter celebration there should be a forty day season of spiritual preparation.
During this season converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism.
It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins and had separated themselves from the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to participation in the life of the Church.
In this way the whole congregation was reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church
To observe a holy Lent:
By self-examination and repentance;
By prayer, fasting, and self-denial,
And by reading and meditation on God’s Holy Word.
To make a right beginning of repentance,
And as a mark of mortal nature,
Let us now bow before our Creator and Redeemer.
(From United Methodist Church Book of Worship)