Lent Reflection Service

Lent 2014On a Wednesday afternoon near the mid-point of Lent, sixty members of the Georgetown community came together in Dahlgren Chapel for a period of prayer and reflection. As the sun descended in the western sky, the refurbished Sacred Heart stained glass window projected bright shafts of colored light onto the new limestone tile floor. Soft prelude music, performed by violinist Aileen Lee, NHS’16, and pianist Dr. Jim Wickman, director of liturgy, and music, welcomed students, faculty and staff members as they arrived. On the altar steps, the chapel’s historic 17th century iron cross, rested on a deep purple cloth, flanked by flickering ivory pillar candles. The sacred tableau, light and music created an aura of quiet contemplation.

Rev. Brian McDermott, SJ, special assistant to the President and faculty in Catholic Studies, offered a meditation on a Lenten practice of interiority, that is, quieting the mind and turning one’s attention inward to observe the changing inner landscape of emotions, in order to cultivate a serene space of openness and receptivity to the Spirit.

After a brief interval, Ms. Lee and Dr. Wickman were joined by Theology Professor Erin Cline playing the upright bass, in a performance of Paul Tate’s arrangement of “O Sacred Head Surrounded” with “Were You There.” The rich harmonics filled the space with familiar melodies played in a new and unexpected way. It provided a fitting musical meditation between speakers.

Following this interlude, Dr. Cline offered a reflection on the Lenten call to service. Sharing vivid childhood memories of her grandmother’s tender care and generosity of spirit, Dr. Cline’s words evoked a model of Christian service that her grandmother personified, reminding all of the power of humility and simplicity in creating a graced life.

The musical portion of the program resumed with Dr. Wickman and Ms. Lee’s performance of their arrangement of Picardy’s Lenten music for organ and violin. The final segment of the program featured Spencer Crawford, SFS’16, who spoke about the Lenten journey and offered a closing prayer of his composition.

Kate Cullen (new window), Mission and Ministry Executive Assistant and Program Coordinator

Mission and Ministry