The Paschal Mystery

We often use the phrase paschal mystery at this time of year. The paschal mystery is Christ’s work of redemption accomplished by his incarnation, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension. During Lent, the paschal mystery is the core of our reflection. All elements of Jesus’s life are necessary for his story of redemption to be complete. He was begotten, not created; he willingly gave himself to the death of a criminal, and on the third day, God raised him to life from death. He appeared to the disciples and empowered them with the Spirit, and he then rose to take his rightful place at God’s right hand. Contemplating it all is the journey of Lent. The paschal mystery is, at first, a mystery—an event that is difficult or puzzling to understand. Note that the church, from the very start, holds that the story of Jesus is a mystery. It’s possible to believe or trust that an event occurred even if you don’t fully understand how it happened. So often, Christians speak as if Christ’s work is simplistic. The church has never suggested that. It is a mystery, a truth that often stands outside our full knowing. 

Perhaps the most significant consideration is what difference the paschal mystery makes to me and my neighbors. How would you answer this question? When I think of my own answer, I think of what it might be like to be a parent of a child who is suffering. I would willingly trade places with my child if I could. When I think of the paschal mystery, it causes me to think that all human beings come under the graces of the mystery, even those I don’t particularly like. Through the paschal mystery, God lovingly takes on the wrongs of my life that I don’t know how to fix and even those that can’t be fixed. And by taking them on, God sets me free to live, love, and serve in his name.  

We have several opportunities for you to keep a Holy Lent at Trinity. From daily devotions to special music, additional Eucharist services, and unique opportunities for learning and prayer. The goal is not to be busy but to create space to consider the paschal mystery. In the cycle of Christ’s work of redemption, may we find the hope that leads to life.

By Grace,


Changes in Worship for Lent

You will notice that our worship services during Lent differ from our ordinary worship. Worship changes to reflect the solemn nature of the season so that we may reflect on our relationship with God in light of our imperfections–sin. The season’s color is violet, flowers do not appear on the altar, the tone of our music is more subdued, and we refrain from using the word “Alleluia.” These changes help us focus on the season and will be “lifted” on Easter morning.

Alleluia Sunday

Sunday, February 11

The Last Sunday before Ash Wednesday is traditionally called “Alleluia Sunday.” It is the last day we use the praise word alleluia until Easter. During Lent, we refrain from saying alleluia to honor this time of reflection. Our children will be part of our procession out of the church with our “Alleluia Banner,” exiting to bury it until Easter when they process back into the church with it. 

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner

February 13

Our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner will be held in Tuton Hall on Tuesday at 6:00 pm. The cost is $5.00 per person. Please join us in preparation for the start of Lent as we enjoy pancakes, sausage, and bacon, all prepared by the gentlemen of Trinity. No reservations or registration are required. Trinity Men, your help is needed to set up, cook, and clean up! Please sign up on the bulletin board near the Conference Room or at 


6:00 pm | Dinner For All

6:00 pm | Crafts for children begins

6:30 pm | Pancake race and other games

Ash Wednesday Services

February 14

7:30 am | Holy Eucharist and the Imposition of Ashes

This service is intended to last 30 minutes for those who would like to attend before heading to the office or other responsibilities of the day.

12:15 pm | Holy Eucharist and the Imposition of Ashes

This service is intended to last one hour for those who need to return to work. 

5:30 pm | Holy Eucharist and the Imposition of Ashes

Our Adult Choir will lead this service. Nursery care is available.

The Reconciliation of a Penitent

By Appointment

Not everyone realizes that the Episcopal church maintains the sacramental rite of reconciliation, or what is commonly referred to as “Confession.”

You can find the service for this rite in the Book of Common Prayer on page 447. The seal of confession is absolute. The sacrament can be a balm for the spirit and the soul. The ability to share and ultimately release one’s imperfections–sin–with a priest who can pronounce God’s forgiveness is a grace of profound depth. It can be a significant part of one’s Lenten journey. If you wish to make your confession, please contact one of Trinity’s clergy to make an appointment.

Children and Lent:

“God’s Holy Darkness”

Light and Dark. Good and Bad. Black and White. So often, the idea of darkness has been associated with danger and evil, while light implies goodness and purity. God’s Holy Darkness invites us to look at darkness differently. The book features beloved Bible stories and challenges us to hear them in a new way.

This season, for Lent, I invite each family to read this book aloud each Sunday in Lent, followed by a reading from a handout of one of the Bible stories in the book. I’ve included a black votive candle to light during the reading. There is richness in the dark, a fertile ground for growth and insight.

Families will receive:

  • a copy of the book God’s Holy Darkness
  • a folder with accompanying Bible stories
  • a black votive candle instructions for following the book and stories throughout Lent

All supplies will be available for pick up during Coffee Hour in the courtyard on Sunday, February 11th and 18th, and at the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner.

Youth and Lent: Wild Hope

Each family will receive Wild Hope by Gayle Boss to read during Lent. 

Pangolins and polar bears, olms, lemurs, and leopards. We share this beautiful blue-green globe with creatures magnificent, delicate, intricate, and now vanishing faster than at any other time in Earth's history.

Spend Lent with twenty-five of these wild ones. Vivid descriptions of their lives and beautiful black-and-white illustrations by David G. Klein will fill readers with wonder and grief at what they suffer on a planet shaped by human choices. Their stories thaw our stiff hearts and wake us to greater compassion, which is what Lent, meaning "springtime," has always been for. These stories also give us a wild hope that something new could rise from all this death and ruin. Lent promises that something new will rise. In fact, as these stories also attest, our hope, though wild, is not impossible and is already lost in the world.”

For each week of Lent, there are stories of four animals. In these stories, the beauty of living wild beings is revealed to us as designed and beloved by the Creator. In weeks one through five, you can read these stories on any day of the week. In week six, Holy Week, the reading days are specified. The books are available on Shrove Tuesday and during formation hour on Sunday.

Lenten Devotions

Daily devotions sent by email on weekdays

We are blessed to have a Lenten devotional booklet for the season of Lent written by members of the Trinity community. We will share these devotions by email daily, and they will also be posted on our website. If you want to be on the email list, please contact the church office at

Sunday Adult Formation for Lent 

Sundays 9:30 to 10:30 

Stewards of Bounty and Beauty, with the Creation Care Committee 

February 24 to March 24 

In the garden, God told the first humans to care for the earth so that all might flourish. But what does that mean for us? Join us for a variety of perspectives on ways to live into our calling, whether we’re caring for our church buildings and grounds, deciding what to plant around our homes, or considering what public policies to support.

Feb 25 Monte Gaillard, Jane Laping (First Pres),

and Karen Crutchfield (CUMC) 

What Is Creation Care?

Mar 3 Jim Stokely Wilma Dykeman’s

Environmental Integrity

Mar 10 Seth Little Blue Horizons Project

Mar 17 Tim Fotinos Blue Ridge Parkway

Mar 24 Steve Woody Great Smoky Mountains

Exploring the Gospel of Mark

Led by Tim Owings

February 4 to March 17 in the Redwood Chapel

Until the late 19th century, the Gospel of Mark was the stepchild of Gospel scholarship. Several scholars’ groundbreaking work near the end of the 1800s and into the early 20th century, however, changed everything, catapulting Mark into a warm and inviting new light.


“Mark as Story and Gospel” will take what, for many, will be a fresh look at the text. In the first four weeks, we’ll approach Mark as if it were a short story, using the tools of literary criticism. Shifting gears, the last four sessions will take up texts in the latter half of Mark as our Lord makes his way to Jerusalem and Holy Week.


The years following my doctoral work on John’s Gospel found me increasingly drawn to the first three Gospels. Every attendee will be given a copy of the New Testament as together we hear anew the Good News from Mark. I can’t wait to dig in with you!


Wednesdays in Lent

February 21, 28, March 6, 13, 20

Daytime and Evening Opportunities

The Holy Eucharist

Wednesdays | 11:30a

Come into the church at 11:30 for a brief and contemplative celebration of the Holy Eucharist. One reading from the Gospel and a short reflection by the Celebrant, this service will end at noon, giving you time to attend the Lunch and Learn if you wish.

Lenten Lunch and Learn

Wednesdays | 12:00 to 1:00p

This Lent, we invite you to join us every Wednesday at noon for lunch, noonday prayer, and conversation with special community guests. Recommended a $6 donation per lunch. Reservations are not required for lunch. 

February 21 | Rabbi Batsheva Meiri has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth HaTephila in Asheville, North Carolina, since 2008. She will share with us about the rising antisemitism in the USA and in Asheville, the current situation in Israel, and how we can strengthen our interfaith relationships.

February 28 | The Rev. Mike Reardon, Vicar of the Church of the Advocate and Assistant Rector at Trinity, will share the state of homelessness in Asheville and how the Church of the Advocate, Trinity, and our wider Diocesan community are responding.

March 6 | Today, we welcome the Diocese of Western North Carolina Deputation to the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, including Bishop José. The General Convention happens every three years; the next is in June. The Rector is a Deputy. We will learn about the convention, how it operates, and some decisions that will likely come before the Convention. There will be ample time for questions and answers. Other members of the Diocese will join us. 

March 13 | You have likely heard of the practice of “Mindfulness.” Today, we welcome Trinitarian Sarah Vallely, who is a Mindfulness Coach. Sarah will help us understand what “Mindfulness” is and isn’t and explore how it can enrich our Christian experience. In her coaching practice, Sarah specializes in stress management, burnout, and trauma (racial and work). She is the host of “The Aware Mind” podcast. 

March 20 | Join our neighbor congregations for a noon-time conversation about the Church Street Collaborative. The Collaborative is an intentional group of clergy and lay leaders of the three congregations on Church Street, coming together for mutual prayer, worship, and action for the care of our neighborhood, city, and people. Join the Rev. Dr. Mary Brown (Sr. Pastor of Central Methodist Church), the Rev. Dr. Patrick Johnson (Sr. Pastor of First Presbyterian Church), and the Rev. Dr. Scott White (Rector at Trinity Episcopal) for a conversation about the Church Street Collaborative. We’ll discuss its creation and the ministry it is doing together for our churches and city. Today, members of Central Methodist and First Presbyterian will join us. 

Lent Lunches

February 21 -Poppyseed Chicken/Rice/Vegetable

February 28 - Baked Potato Bar/Spinach Salad

March 6 - Salmon/Rice/Vegetable

March 13- Soup and Salad

March 20 - Enchilada Casserole


Registration Closes February 16

Edible Theology

Wednesdays | 5:30p

Are you interested in connecting more deeply with yourself and your church community this Lent? Sign up to join a special Lenten supper club! Groups will meet at church and share a simple dinner provided. As you eat, you’ll have a chance to share parts of your stories and study a little of what the Bible teaches. Curriculum created by Kendall Vanderslice – who has a Masters in Gastronomy from Boston University and an MTS from Duke and was named a James Beard Foundation national scholar for her work on food and religion – will guide your time together. Sign up with friends or ask to be placed in a group. Childcare is available. Learn more about the curriculum here.


Registration closes March 1.

Bake and Pray with

Kendall Vanderslice

Saturday, March 9, 1-4, Tuton Hall

Baking bread is about learning the relationship between tension and rest. During the Bake & Pray workshop, we use bread baking as a tool to practice Edible Theology’s 3-step trust-building process:

  1. Slow down.
  2. Get out of your mind and into your body.
  3. Listen to one another’s stories.

Whether you’re totally new to baking or a seasoned baker, enjoy this hands-on workshop – and go home with two loaves of bread! Cost: $10.

Kendall Vanderslice has a Master’s in Gastronomy from Boston University and an MTS from Duke. She was named a James Beard Foundation national scholar for her work on food and religion. She is the author of Find Belonging at the Table, the resource for our Wednesday Evening Edible Theology program. 

Music for Lent

Ash Wednesday | at the 5:30 service

February 14 

The anthem for the 5:30 service, “Call to Remembrance,” was written by Richard Farrant (1530-1580). Hear these words that call us to repentance:

Call to remembrance, O Lord,

thy tender mercy and thy loving kindness which hath been ever of old.

O remember not the sins and offenses of my youth,

but according to thy mercy think thou on me, O Lord, for thy goodness.

Evensong and Eucharist

at the 5:30 service. 

Sunday, February 25 

Our Chancel Choir will sing at the Celtic service at 5:30 on Sunday the 25th. The Choir will sing music by Trotta, Stanley, and Farrant. Please join us for this beautiful, reflective space for worship during Lent.

Palm Sunday | Asheville Vocal Ensemble 

March 24,  5:30p

Members of the Asheville Vocal Ensemble, AVE (formerly Pastyme), will join us on Palm Sunday at the Celtic service and offer an exquisite selection of sacred music for this holy day. Now a beloved tradition at Trinity, the ensemble will provide the music for our evening worship and have selected beautiful pieces of sacred music to usher us into Holy Week.

Palm Sunday Walk

March 24 9:30

Church Street Churches gather before Worship

This is our annual gathering with families from First Pres and Central Methodist during our formation hour on Palm Sunday. This event is open to anyone, but specifically for families of children and youth.  We will gather in Tuton Hall at 9:30 and walk to Central Methodist to gather with the other churches.  A donkey will lead us while we wave palms to Pritchard Park, where we will gather briefly for a short liturgy.  We finish at 10:30 and have enough time to return to Trinity for our 10:45 service for those who wish to do so.