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Lenten Reflection Series Features Music to Encourage Prayer

February 26, 2013 – This year’s Lenten Reflection series, sponsored by the Office of Mission and Ministry, explores music as a means of enriching one’s prayer and spiritual life during Lent. 

“Music can touch the soul in ways that mere words cannot,” says Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry. “Our Lenten Series is way of helping people to pray, perhaps in a different way, through the help of music.”

The four-part series, which began Feb. 20 and runs through March 20, takes place in Dahlgren Chapel on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. with the exception of March 6 because of spring break. It is open to all members of the university community, as well as neighbors and friends.

“Lent is a time where we get back to basics,” O’Brien explains. “You let go of things that get in the way of deepening our relationship with God and other people.”

New Goals

This year, Campus Ministry hopes to increase student participation in the Lenten Reflection Series.

“My hope is to draw more students in to the experience,” O’Brien says. “In the past we haven’t had many students attend, so this year we wanted to focus on student presenters and performers.”

Each week, a student will offer a reflection following performances by Georgetown’s chapel choir, chamber choir and other student musicians and vocalists. Lorrie Damerau (C’13) delivered the series’ first reflection on Feb. 20. The remaining reflections are:

  1. Feb. 27 – Donald Rhodes (C’13)
  2. March 13 – Sarah Justvig (C’13)
  3. March 20 – Jordan Blackwell (C’15)

Soprano singer Elizabeth Baker (C’16) and pianist Nathaniel MacArthur (B’13) performed Pie Jesu from Gabriel Faure’s Requiem  during the Feb. 20 reflection.

“The concept of ‘music as prayer’ is not original to our concert... it stems from the earliest instances of music appearing in the liturgy of the church to accompany biblical texts,” MacArthur says.

Baker says she sees the series theme as a community connector.

“Paired with the Lenten spirit of reflection, I strongly believe music as prayer will help believers look inside themselves and connect with their community – and God – in ways they have not before,” Baker explains.

Devotional Guide

The Lenten season opened Feb. 13 with five Ash Wednesday services in Dahlgren Chapel, an ecumenical service in Copley Crypt Chapel and a Protestant service in St. William’s Chapel.

A daily devotional guide written by faculty, staff and students is available via a daily email subscription available through the Campus Ministry website.

About 2,000 Georgetown students, faculty, staff, alumni from around the world and neighbors have already subscribed, O’Brien says.

“It’s a wonderful experience because you’re tied to 2,000 other people around the world,” he says. “It’s an online community.”


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