The Season of Lent
Lent is an opportunity to collectively contemplate the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, in our personal lives and as a congregation, in preparation for Easter.
It is a time of re-centering and “spiritual spring-cleaning” when we humbly practice prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to help us listen and repent for the ways we have sinned and wandered away, so that we can be fully reconciled to Christ and one another.
Often we simplify and clear out time and space during this season of renewal, anticipating new depth and maturity to be formed in us as we walk with Jesus and one another toward the cross and resurrection.
All Saint's Holland gathers to begin Lent together in an Ash Wednesday service.
Join us and our sister congregation, Real Life Fellowship, in our sanctuary:
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 5:30 pm for an encouragement toward a Holy Lent and the imposition of ashes.
did you know?
There are 40 days in Lent for fasting, but Sundays are not traditionally included in this fast. Since Sundays are Sabbath days - feast days - we celebrate the Resurrection no matter what the season. So, feel free to lift your fasts during Sundays in Lent!
To understand lent
Don't Miss Your Lent Lifeline: Reclaiming Lost Time During Lent - blog post about how Lent can help us find our place in time, specifically amidst the disorientation of time that COVID has brought.
The Good of Giving Up - Anglican book on Lent - fantastic!
Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent and Easter by Laura Alary is a fantastic picture book for children that explains Lent in a way they can understand.
Lent: The journey from Ash Wednesday through Holy Week by Greg Goebel & Josh Steele
questions to ponder
- In what ways do you need Jesus?
- How have you wandered away from Christ?
- How can you remember your dependency on Jesus during this season?
- How can you make space for God and His friendship?
- What can you say “no” to so you can say "yes" to God?
- What helps you become aware of God's presence?
ideas for almsgiving & fasting
- Each day of Lent, put something in a box to give away.
- Eat low-cost meals throughout Lent and put the money you save into a jar for a special cause.
- Ask God what thing in your life you need a fast from: a certain food or drink, habit, social media, way of spending time, etc. and offer that sacrifice to Him this Lent. Share your intention with a friend.
- Cover or remove signs of spring and life from your home. Put plants away, cover crosses, icons, and pictures with cloths. Think of this as a type of fasting. They will come again in glory, but for now intensify your anticipated joy by removing them from your vision. Their absence now makes their return on Easter Sunday a more powerful source of joy.
- Limit your shopping to absolute necessities. Notice what arises in you and respond as God leads.
- Give up eating from restaurants. Donate the money you save to a worthy cause.
- Visit, call or send a written note instead of text or email.
- As much as possible, eat out of your pantry and freezer for Lent.
- Turn off lights and devices after 8pm. Use candles.
- Ask God to show you an individual or organization that needs financial support this Lent. Do what He says.
Contemplative Engagements & Prayer
Daily Candle Lighting Litany
Bring a focus to the season at mealtime with a simple centerpiece: a purple candle and any other simple decoration. Light the candle at the start of a meal. Or you could have 6 candles representing the 6 weeks of Lent. Each week, snuff out 1 candle as a way to mark the time. At mealtime, recite this litany or something similar:
Candle lighter: Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Response: And renew a right spirit within me.
engage in gentle spiritual disciplines
Renew your commitment to some sort of daily lectionary reading:
- The Book of Common Prayer
- Daily Prayer
- Daily Office
- A Rookie Anglican Guide to The Daily Office Lectionary
Arrange a formal confession with Father Brian.
Practice a morning greeting before you get out of bed. Something like this:
- Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures forever!
Practice a nightly examen:
Choose a prayer from the "Occasional Prayers" section of the Book of Common Prayer to focus on for the season (page 642...)
creat visual symbols
Plant flower bulbs in a pot in your home. As you care for them and observe them, meditate on the mystery of death and growth, life beginning in the dark, searching for light, and bursting forth from the dirt.
Make a simple bracelet to wear throughout Lent as a reminder of your dependance on Christ.
family books & lenten guides
The Wonder of Easter: An Easter Journey for the Whole Family is a flexible devotional (different discussion suggestions based on age, 5 chapters per week, but if that's unrealistic just do the ones highlighted in grey, about 2 per week) that walks the family through Luke's Gospel and parts of the Old Testament to explore the limitless power of Easter
Looking Toward the Cross by Leighann Marquiss is a 40-day daily devotional with object lessons to lead families through the Easter/Lenten season. Providing parents with a 5-minute devotion, followed by an optional object lesson, Looking Toward the Cross gives parents an easy-to-use resource focused on the ministry of Christ leading up to His death and resurrection.
Journey to the Cross by Paul David Tripp - 40 day Lenten devotional for teens & up.
The Risen One by Scott James - 12 brief devotions for families or individuals during Lent.