The Great Litany

At Saint John’s we begin the First Sunday of Lent with the great litany chanted in procession as a way to formally begin the season of penitence and reflection.  This great bidding prayer with responses is the oldest part of the Book of Common Prayer, the first translated into English during the reign of Henry VIII.

It is long and gathers up the various conditions and calamities of humanity into a petition to God on behalf of each person then praying and as intercession for the whole human community and the earth itself.

Hereby we are brought to mind of our own mortality and facing such come to our proper place in the scheme of things. Lent is a good thing – it helps us become clear about what is important.