San Juan County churches add services for Lent

Hannah Grover
Sacred Heart Catholic Church parishioners wear ashes on their foreheads during Ash Wednesday services on March 5, 2014, at the church in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Several San Juan County churches are adding extra services in the coming weeks to help Christians prepare for Easter during the Lenten season.

Lent will start on Ash Wednesday next week, and the season will continue for the 40 days leading up to Easter. Members of liturgical churches, including Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist and Episcopalian churches, use the season to prepare spiritually for Easter.

"It is a season of reflection, of self-examination, that leads to Holy Week," said the Rev. Glenn Perica, pastor of Farmington First Presbyterian Church.

The church will host a six-week lunch concert series starting Feb. 17. Perica said the concerts are open for people of all faiths. Local musicians will perform a variety of genres, ranging from bluegrass to piano duets, and Perica will give five-minute talks each week.

"These are messages sort of around the journey of love that during Lent we are invited to participate in," he said.

A churchgoer receives ashes from Father Tim Farrell during an Ash Wednesday service on March 5, 2014, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Farmington.

The Presbyterian church is one of several local congregations that will host special services during Lent.

This year, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Farmington will add a new opportunity for parishioners to reflect and pray during Lent.The church will have a 40-hour devotion that starts on Feb. 28. During that time, parishioners will take one-hour shifts praying over the Eucharist.

Father Tim Farrell, pastor of the Catholic church, said the devotion — which many churches host throughout the year, not necessarily during Lent — will be a quiet time to reflect and pray.

"I've decided to do it during Lent," Farrell said. "It just makes sense."

Each night of the devotion, Farrell will give a short talk about the Lenten journey.

"We, as Catholics, believe (Lent) is a journey through the spiritual desert," he said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

Kris Chavez applies ashes during an Ash Wednesday service on March 5, 2014, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Farmington.