Sunday Worship in Lent – 14th March 2021

Lent is the period of forty days which comes before Easter in the Christian Calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing Lent, Christians reflect upon Jesus’ self-discipline and withdrawal into the desert for forty days. Lent is marked by a pulling back. Whereas Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus after his death on the cross, Lent recalls the events leading up to and including that crucifixion. The Christian churches of the 21st century use Lent as a time of prayer and reflection. Only a small number of people fast for the whole of Lent, although some maintain the practice on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. And many might surrender time or money to make a difference to those in need. Whatever the sacrifice, it is a reflection only of Jesus’ deprivation in the wilderness and a test of self-discipline. In churches around the world the liturgical colour is purple.
At St Catherine’s during Lent we replace our ‘word-based’ Prayers of Intercession with a world map and pray in stillness for places on it (this year we will focus on the 20 or so nations of origin that are currently part of the Stuttgart-based St Catherine’s church family)
. The liturgy is observed mostly kneeling rather than standing. Missing for the whole of Lent are the Gloria and any Alleluias, instead what makes an appearance is a summary of the Ten Commandments.
Where there is a choice of liturgy, click on the purple text of your choice for this week in Lent.

Theme: Looking Up



Opening Hymn:

An Opening Prayer:
God of creation and order, be with us as we gather for worship.
Help us to think carefully about the choices we make and the people we look up to.
Lead us in the confusions and temptations of this world.
Teach us to look up to the light of your Son, Jesus Christ, for guidance and inspiration.

The Commandments:
These are always read in full during Lent.
The Commandments from Exodus 20.1-17

From Common Worship

There are two on offer here –
A more traditional one taken from Psalm 51

Another more using the imagination

Stillness for reflection
In faith we receive God’s forgiveness and the Spirit’s enabling to change where we need to

A Litany of Thanksgiving:
For our world and all its beauty:
we give God thanks today.

For creating us to be his work of art:
we give God thanks today.

For this city and our church and for the life we share:
we give God thanks today.

For our homes and families, for friends and fun:
we give God thanks today.

For food and warmth, for comfort and safety and for protection:
we give God thanks today.

Collect for today:
Merciful Lord you know our struggle to serve you: when sin spoils our lives and overshadows our hearts, come to our aid and turn us back to you again; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Bible Reading:

Nicodemus was a Jewish leader who was a Pharisee. Jesus speaks to him of being sent because of God’s love, to offer eternal life to the world. He uses the image of light and darkness to explain the concept of judgement. Those who do wrong things avoid the light, because it reveals what they are doing, but those who do what is good and true are attracted to the light. Our Reading gives us something of Jesus’ response to his searching questions.

How do we understand ‘eternal life’? And what difference does that make to our everyday lives?


  • How might ‘the light’ speak to us of something eternal?
  • How can we show that we live in the light rather than the darkness?

Audio reflection:

Affirmation of Faith for Lent:

There are two on offer here –
A more traditional one taken from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians chapter2

Another more using the imagination – you choose how many of the verses you wish to use week by week


Prayers of Intercession:
Countries this week: on the full anniversary of Lockdown1 in Stuttgart we pray for all the places where people known to us have been deeply affected by this pandemic (we return next weekend to praying for the nations from which our church family originated)

The ‘Our Father’
We draw all our prayers together in the words of –
Our Father who art in heaven…
…for ever and ever. Amen.

A sending out prayer:
Lord of light, help us to look to you in the coming week.
Guide us when the way ahead seems dark and full of obstacles.
May we always give thanks, even in the darkest times,
and enable us to shine as lights in the world.