Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Season of Lent, is THIS Wednesday, March 6
The Season of Lent is upon us! Lent is the most solemn of Church seasons – a time marked by “self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” (From the Invitation to the Observance of a Holy Lent, Book of Common Prayer) Here are some announcements and resources for the season.
- The Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes will be celebrated for 2nd-8th grade students, in the Church of the Good Shepherd, on Wednesday, March 6 at 8:20 a.m. Parents/guests are welcome to join us, though seating is quite limited.
- The Book of Common Prayer liturgy for Ash Wednesday can be found online at https://www.bcponline.org/SpecialDays/ashwed.html This liturgy contains the LITANY OF PENITENCE – a solemn and honest prayer that addresses where we ALL fall short of God’s ways, and an excellent resource for discussion about trying our best in the life of faith. I know of families who have had enriching and enlightening conversations about these prayers.
- Because Lent can be fun also, I like to participate in LENT MADNESS – a “bracket” of saints competing for “the golden halo.” This project, the genius of a couple of friends/colleagues in the Episcopal Church, provides the resources to learn about saints (big and small) in the context of friendly “sport.” Eighth graders will be following Lent Madness in religion classes this year, and I would encourage families to give it a try as well! http://www.lentmadness.org/about/
- I shared THIS (http://time.com/3714056/pope-francis-lent-2015-fasting/) excellent article four years ago, but it’s one I go back to at this time every year. Pope Francis does a beautiful job of reminding us of Christian responsibilities and then encouraging us to focus on them during Lent. When we “give something up” for Lent, there is room in our hearts, minds, schedules, and wallets to “take something on.”
- Finally, there are seemingly limitless resources for family devotions during the Season of Lent, and many families and congregations have these in place already.
- For middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults I would highly recommend the “Lent is for Everyone” online devotions by the Reverend N.T. Wright, a highly-respected spiritual writer and academic in the Anglican (Episcopal) tradition. His Lenten reflections are linked here: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/83-lent-for-everyone
- For younger children and families there are fantastic creative ideas drawn from Godly Play here: https://exploreandexpress-sheila.blogspot.com/2011/02/celebrating-lent-with-children.html
- For all ages, there is an abundance of great ideas for activities with families here: https://old.passionatehomemaking.com/2012/02/intentionally-celebrating-lent-easter-as-a-family.html#http://lillylewin.com/holy-week-ideas-for-familes-kids-and-small-groups/