The sacred season of Lent begins with the observance of Ash Wednesday on February 17, 2021. But, what is Lent all about and why does it begin with smudging our foreheads with soot? Or as the creator of our series from Discipleship Ministries asks, “Why do we have this period of preparation, of fasting and self-denial, of repentance and confession, of putting our spiritual house in order?” You may have pondered these same questions yourself.

The answer: “so that we can be prepared for Easter. Lent is about embracing the Resurrected One with a whole and longing heart.” The United Methodist Church has developed a new series to guide us as we press into the true meaning of Lent, so that we can receive the full blessing of Easter!

The Lenten journey towards the cross and empty tomb will begin at Thalia UMC with a Virtual Ash Wednesday worship experience through Facebook and YouTube. We are also adding a midweek service every Wednesday to feature one hymn each week to enrich our collective spiritual journey.

Below is a devotional schedule for your use as you purge your spiritual house, so that we may claim the promise of abundant life through Jesus Christ. Each week has a Bible reading and a hymn. The hymns will be featured in both the midweek services, which will start on Ash Wednesday, as well as online worship on Sundays. The hymns are easy to find at locations like or YouTube if you do not have a United Methodist Hymnal at home.

There are various ways to observe the season of Lent. Many find it meaningful to fast from something like chocolate or soda. Others enjoy adding new spiritual disciplines like centering prayer or simple acts of kindness. Feel free to use this guide as we walk towards the cross together.

Devotional Schedule for Lent

Ash Wednesday
– February 17, 2021 – Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
UMH 269, “Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days”

First Sunday in Lent
– February 21, 2021 – Genesis 9:8-17
UMH 269, “Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days”

Second Sunday in Lent
– February 28, 2021 – Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
TFWS 2130, “The Summons”

Third Sunday in Lent
– March 7, 2021 – Exodus 20:1-17
UMH 467, “Trust and Obey”

Fourth Sunday in Lent
– March 14, 2021 – Numbers 21:4-9
UMH 98, “To God be the Glory”

Fifth Sunday in Lent
– March 21, 2021 – Jeremiah 31:31-34
UMH 292, “What Wondrous Love”

Palm Sunday
– March 28, 2021 – Mark 11:1-11
UMH 371, “I Stand Amazed”

Maundy Thursday
– April 1, 2021 – John 13:1-35 & Exodus 12:1-14

Good Friday
– April 2, 2021 – John 18:1-19:42

Easter Sunday
– April 4, 2021 – John 20:1-18
UMH 302, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”

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