Ash Wednesday brings Lenten lunches: 5 things to know

Anne Lynn Langloh and Theresa Gregory, the 2017 Lenten Lunch Chairs, are shown here with Dean Andrew Pearson, left, and Canon Deborah Leighton, 

With Lent beginning today on Ash Wednesday, the Cathedral Church of the Advent, 2017 Sixth Ave. North, opens its 109th year of weekday Lenten worship services.

Here are five things to know about the Lenten services and accompanying lunches:

When are they? The Lenten Preaching Series features 15-minute sermons each weekday during Lent with a service that starts at 12:05 p.m. and is done by 12:30 p.m. The services are accompanied by homemade Lenten lunches served by church volunteers. Lunch is served from 12:05 to 1 p.m. in the parish hall and dining room. See the menu here.

Where do the proceeds go? Lenten lunches typically raise about $40,000 for ministries sponsored by the church. More than 250 volunteers help serve more than 6,000 lunches. The preaching series and Lenten lunches continue through Good Friday, April 14. The proceeds are distributed to many mission programs both locally and globally that are supported by Advent.

What is Lent? Lent is the season of preparation before Easter. It's based on the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, preparing for his ministry. Christians often fast and pray in repentance, leading up to their celebration of the Resurrection of Christ on Easter. Easter will be April 16 this year.

Can I use a debit card to pay for lunch?: Yes, you can pay for Lenten Lunches with credit and debit cards in addition to cash.

How long has the Lenten preaching series been around? The earliest known weekday Lenten services happened in 1908 under the leadership of the Rev. William Edwin Evans. The Rev. John Turner, rector from 1939-66, emphasized the Lenten services as a preaching series.

Who's speaking this year? Bishop John McKee Sloan, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, opened the preaching series on Ash Wednesday, March 1.


The full preaching schedule is as follows:

March 1: Kee Sloan Bishop, Diocese of Alabama; Birmingham, Alabama

March 2: Mark Gignilliat Canon Theologian, Cathedral Church of the Advent; Associate Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School; Birmingham, Alabama

March 3: Will Willimon Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School; Durham, North Carolina

March 6-7: Stan Buckley Founder and Director, But God Ministries; Jackson, Mississippi

March 8-9: Joe Gibbes Rector, Church of Our Saviour; Jacksonville, Florida

March 10: Bill Boyd Senior Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church; Birmingham, Alabama

March 13-17: Mike Hill Bishop, Diocese of Bristol; Bristol, England

March 20-22: Wes Hill Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Trinity School for Ministry; Ambridge, Pennsylvania

March 23-24: Sandy Willson Senior Minister, Second Presbyterian Church; Memphis, Tennessee

March 27-28: George Sumner Bishop, Diocese of Dallas; Dallas, Texas

March 29: Jim Pounds Director of Operations, Beeson Divinity School; Birmingham, Alabama

March 30-31: Cameron Cole Director of Children, Youth, and Family, Cathedral Church of the Advent; Birmingham, Alabama

April 3-4: Chuck Collins Associate Rector, Christ Church Anglican; Phoenix, Arizona

April 5-6: Lauren Larkin Writer, Blogger, Podcaster; Grand Junction, Colorado

April 7: Arthur Price Pastor, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church; Birmingham, Alabama

April 10-11: Ralph Douglas West Senior Pastor, The Church Without Walls; Houston, Texas

April 12-13: FitzSimons Allison Retired Bishop, Diocese of South Carolina; Georgetown, South Carolina

April 14: Andrew Pearson Dean and Rector, Cathedral Church of the Advent; Birmingham, Alabama

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