The Third Sunday of Lent

Music in Lent

Happy Birthday Bach! (March 21, 1685) Fortunately we don’t have to, but if we did have to choose just one composer as the greatest, I suspect J.S. Bach would come to many people’s minds. He took the tools of his time – the instruments, musical forms and compositional techniques – and brought them to their fullest potential. And he did this while working under deadlines while trying to please grumpy clerics and noblemen, without ever attaining much fame or fortune. His enormous musical output is the pinnacle of the Baroque musical period. Personally, I would be humbled to simply nurture a house plant to its full potential, much less an entire period of music history. I play a lot of Bach and will never tire of these attempts to eavesdrop on his conversations with God, because that is what Bach’s music always feels like to me – a conversation between God and a musical genius.

Joy might not be the first word that comes to mind during Lent. This is the liturgical season of muted responses, introspection, and greater awareness of our sinful states after all. I take joy very seriously, though. Maybe that’s why I love the serious joy of Bach so much. Joy is quite different from happiness. We are choosing to be joyful when we choose to have hope, to see good, to believe that God loves us. If Lent teaches us nothing else, it is that we have every reason to hope. Darkness and sorrow are not God’s plan for us. And where there is hope there can be joy.

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Peace is my last gift to you, my peace I leave with you;

Peace which the world cannot give, I give to you. (John 14:27)

The first is a text sung by the 11:15 choir last week. The second is a text that will be sung on Maundy Thursday. It is a great privilege to be able to sing about those things we believe in most deeply, such as the God-given gifts of life and peace. We know, and even science agrees, that when we sing, the words are more easily understood and remembered. The choir at 11:15 has been singing the psalms on behalf of the congregation this Lenten season, and perhaps hearing them sung can allow them to be heard anew. But singing about our beliefs is only a step on the path to living our beliefs. Jesus promises a peace that this world cannot give. Our best selves work hard to bring about the kinds of peace within families and communities that this world can give.

The communion hymn this coming Sunday, 649 in The Hymnal 1982, begins with the words O Jesus, joy of loving hearts. Its text asks Jesus to chase the night of sin away and to be the source of calm in our lives. There is joy to be found in that hope.


Sonya Subbayya Sutton

Interim Director of Music

The 9:00 a.m. service premieres on YouTube at 8:45 a.m. and remains available afterwards. If you are worshiping virtually, you may follow along with the service bulletin. See the Church Calendar below for the complete Sunday schedule.

Preaching on Sunday March 12: The Rector

Above are our next few Lenten activities, you can download the full Lent, Holy Week and Easter schedule here.

You are invited to join the Racial Justice Ministry for a congregational visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture slated for Saturday, March 18 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are limited and available on a first-come first-served basis with priority to TFC members, to get your tickets, sign up via the SignUp Genius.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by an Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 40,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution, you can learn more about the museum here.

Please email event organizer Jan Cornelius: [email protected] if you have any questions.

To sign up via Realm, click here.

This Sunday, March 12, Nursery will be provided and we will have formation classes, but there will be no Children's Chapel.

Father Burl will use the sermon to dive into all the components and ministries that make our service possible. It will be a hands-on approach to teaching us about our Episcopal identity and deconstructing our service. As a result, children will stay in the service to be part of this amazing lesson.

The nursery will remain open for children 3 and under.

We will also have our very first Prayground in church. What is a prayground you ask? I would love to tell you. A Prayground is a designated place in the front of the sanctuary where young children can experience worship through age-appropriate worship materials and tools that will help keep them engaged in what is happening — materials such as children’s Bibles and books, coloring/drawing materials, soft toys, pipe cleaners and other manipulatable items related to the scripture theme such as smooth stones, feathers, shells, etc.

In this service, children will also get the opportunity to set their own altar, as the priest teaches about the altar. It will be a great time and we hope you can join us!

Register For Hogwarts Vacation Bible School 2023

Hogwarts VBS Prefect registration via Realm

Ways to serve

The Falls Church prepares dinner on the second Sunday of each month for the people staying at the Bailey's Crossroads Community Shelter.

For this months meal on March 12, the youth will be preparing the meal, so we won't have the usual signups to prepare the meal. We will be back in April, when we will be preparing and serving the meal on Easter Sunday, April 9.

However, we are returning to serving the meal at the shelter, as we used to do before the pandemic. This entails showing up at the shelter at 5941 Seminary Rd, Falls Church, at 4:15 p.m., helping organize everything to serve the meal, serving it, and cleaning up afterwards. We should be done about 6:15 p.m.

All servers must be 18 years of age or older.

To sign up to serve the meal on Sunday March 12, please use the Sign-Up Genius.

If you have any questions, please contact Dave Raglin via email.

The Falls Church Calendar

For events from March 6 to March 19, click here

Parish Prayer List

Please use the Prayer List in your prayers for each other and the world. 

Praying for each other and the needs of the world is a powerful way to love our neighbors as ourselves! This week's Prayer list.

Click here to email Father Matthew and add someone to the prayer list.

Ways to Give
Please mail your check to:
115 E. Fairfax Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
Donate safely and securely through our website. 
Text “TFCE” and the amount to 73256. 

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