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Wollaston Congregational Church, Quincy, Massachusetts



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LENTEN ALTAR, 2005

Our Lenten altar reflects the movement of the journey we underwent during the many weeks of Lenten services. Our journey began on Ash Wednesday. Since then, we have moved together, throughout our sanctuary, as a congregation, getting to know the various spaces in our very large worship space, by holding worship each Sunday in different areas.

Throughout the season, items were added to the altar. Each week something was symbolic of the journey we were/are on together. Each item related to the Scripture readings for the Sundays of Lent, traveling as pilgrims through the desert, the wilderness, the mountains, the pool, the valley, the gate to Jerusalem and on into the garden, finally at the cross.

  • In the desert, the apple tree was symbolic of Jesus representation as the new Adam.
  • In the wilderness, a mirror was held up to us, to see ourselves more clearly; the wilderness being a place where confession is heard.
  • The water pitcher symbolized the Living Water which the Samaritan woman found in Jesus at the well on the mountain.
  • The water continued to remind us of Jesus’ miracle of healing the blind man with mud and spit and helped us to hear our own voices in the pool as we answer God’s call to us.
  • The valley gave us our own dry bones, making us thirst for Jesus’ forgiveness.
  • The Lenten Altar was completed on Palm Sunday, as we stood at the gate, each asking ourselves, “Who is this man?”, and “Am I prepared to follow Him into the City of Jerusalem and to the cross?” We took paper and pen and wrote of how we have prepared for this Holy Week, sharing our faith experience of this holy time together. We could see the garden before us. And on Maundy Thursday, we entered, inspired by our faith to continue to the cross on Good Friday. Together, we wait in anticipation and holy awe for as the miracle of Easter unfolds in Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Savior, and in each one of these pilgrims.
 
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