Inspired by Cranmer, Lenten program combines daily worship and Bible study
By Sharon Sheridan
A Lenten program created by a liturgy professor and priest offers a way for congregations to study the Bible within the context of worship and community in a quintessentially Anglican way.
“I’ve always been really drawn to the preface that [Thomas] Cranmer wrote to his first prayer book,” said the Rev. Kevin Moroney, liturgy professor and chapel director at General Theological Seminary in New York and priest-in-residence at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Clifton, N.J.
“What he explained in this preface is really that the Holy Scriptures can be learned by reading them, book by book, continuously nestled within the arms of the daily prayers, morning and evening,” he said. And, when they do so, Cranmer wrote, clergy and laity “become inflamed with the love of God’s true religion.
What better time during the isolation caused by physically distancing from family and friends during the pandemic, coupled with the desire to drive away the winter’s cold, than to pick up a book that takes us through the solemnity of the Lenten season, offering a promise of hope for the days ahead?
The Stations of the Cross is a devotional practice that originated in the early centuries of Christianity. Pilgrims who could not actually walk the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem — the “sorrowful road” that it is believed Jesus took from Pilate’s judgment hall to Golgotha to face his crucifixion — were able to simulate this experience by meditating upon a series of images.
This noteworthy book, a collaboration between Margaret Adams Parker, an artist, and Katherine Sounderegger, a preacher, both faculty members at Virginia Theological Seminary, leads readers through the traditional 14 Stations.