Last night, I attended the Wednesday Lenten evening prayer service at Easter Lutheran Church (“on the Hill” location). The music we sang is called the Holden Evening Prayer, music written by composer Marty Haugen. (The name comes from Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in Washington State, where Marty Haugen was musician-in-residence when he composed the music.)
If you have never tried this Lenten tradition at Easter, I highly recommend it. The candles were lovely in the dark winter night, the music was soothing, and the short message by the pastor was inspiring–a great boost for the middle of the work week. If you are not much of a singer, don’t worry–I’m pretty sure a bunch of choir people were in the congregation, and they carried the song well. I’m convinced even if you just sit and listen, your soul will soak up the beauty of prayer.
Want to hear a sample? Here’s one of many clips from YouTube of the Holden Evening Prayer. This one was filmed at University Lutheran Church of the Epiphany (ELCA) in St. Cloud, MN (with a child singing one of the leads!):
After the service last night, I felt so relaxed. That’s the kind of music it was–very consoling and calming.
Whatever you do this Lent, keep on prayin’ …
About the writer: Julie McCarty is a freelance writer and spiritual director who attends Easter Lutheran. She also blogs at Spiritual Drawing Board, www.spiritualdrawingboard.com .