During Lent, running roughly 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, we are invited to a “holy observance…by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” (Book of Common Prayer, 265) Lent begins on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.
We are beginning to add resources for Lent and Holy Week 2019. We offer these to help you, your family, and your congregation step back from daily routine and more fully participate in this time of preparation and reflection.
If you have resources you would like to share with the wider diocese, please let us know! We would love to include them here.
Most have heard of it, but few congregations have tried it. Why not step outside your church walls this Ash Wednesday and share some of what Emily Mellott from Calvary Episcopal Church in Lombard, IL calls “liturgical evangelism.”
To get started, check out this this tip sheet for the whys and hows of doing Ashes to Go: Ashes to Go Tip Sheet >
Download A Prayer for Ash Wednesday to hand-out during your Ashes to Go event. It provides a script for the imposition of ashes, invites those receiving ashes to worship with your congregation, and gives some background on why we observe the beginning of Lent with ashes. It is set up to be easily customized with information about your church.
The five-minute video Remember that You Are but Dust, can help you reflect on the significance of Ash Wednesday and serve as preparation for an Ashes to Go ministry.
Retreat, Prayer, & Scripture Study
Living Lent can be difficult unless you break the habits and routines of everyday life. Withdraw from week-in, week-out busyness to spend time with God in prayer, Scripture study, and small-group conversation.
If you don’t currently have a structured prayer life, consider committing yourself to praying the Daily Office during Lent. The four-fold form of Anglican prayer–including Morning Prayer (which takes about ~20 min), Noonday Prayer (~5 min), Evening Prayer (~20 min), and Compline (~7 min)–draws on Scripture to invite us into a rhythm of daily quietude. For the office in its full form (including daily scripture readings, appointed collects, and some additional add-ons), see the Office of Faith Formation’s Daily Prayer page.
Lenten Retreat: March 22-24, 2019
Our annual Lenten retreat at Cathedral Ridge is a time of spiritual deepening, self-reflection, and prayer. Each year’s theme is unique, but all Lenten retreats are focused on helping participants enter more fully into the season and prepare for Holy Week and the coming Resurrection. The daily rhythm includes presentations, small group discussion, and worship, along with time for confession, personal spiritual disciplines, and exploring the grounds of Cathedral Ridge. Registration opens January 7. For more information, please contact the Faith Formation team at Faith@EpiscopalColorado.org.
More Daily Disciplines
Lent Madness is a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the Church’s Calendar of Saints. Use it for daily devotions, a church-wide “competition,” or small group activity.
How does it work?
- 32 saints are placed into a tournament-like single elimination bracket.
- Each pairing remains open for a set period of time and
people vote for their favorite saint.
- 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen.
- Eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight.
- Four make it to the Faithful Four.
- Two progress to the Championship.
- The winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo.
The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Subsequent rounds add quotes and quirks and explore legends. Read more >
This three-part curriculum focuses on the seasons of Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, and works best in a small-group format. The Lenten series, The Crucified Life, can serve as the beginning of the trilogy or stand on its own. Participants explore Christ’s last words spoken from the cross:
- Forgiveness – Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
- Salvation – Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.
- Relationship – Woman, behold your son… Behold your mother.
- Distress – I thirst.
- Abandonment – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
- Reunion – Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.
- Triumph – It is finished.
Children and Youth
These tips could of course apply to any group hosting a pancake supper, but in many parishes it’s the youth group organizing the event, often with donations going toward upcoming service trips. This article helps you come up with a list of supplies, make a plan for preparing various food items, an organize volunteers. There’s even a printable placemat included. Read more >
This tactile way of praying the Lord’s Prayer makes a meaningful daily discipline for children, but could be used for all ages. The cross could be kept in the family prayer space in the home (see below) and the prayer said at the same time each day. Use the following steps to make the cross:
1. Print the tracing cross pattern (found below) on color cardstock.
2. Glue the tracing cross to a piece of scrapbook paper that is cut slightly larger than cross.
3. Cut and add an additional cross on top. This cross can be a complementing color/pattern. See image below.
4. Laminate the entire project.
5. Optional: Punch a hole in the top corner and insert key ring or add ribbon loop.
Read more >
Pinterest Board for Lent
Search Faith Formation Episcopal Colorado and check out our pins for Lent.
Families ~ at Home Resources
An invitation for children to wonder about the Lenten story. This unique book teaches children to experience Lent with all their senses, and to see it as a special time for creating a welcoming space for God. Simple activities like cleaning a room, making bread and soup, and inviting a neighbor for supper become acts of justice and kindness, part of a life of following Christ, and a way to make room for God in our lives and in the world around us. Read more and order >
[excerpt]…In a family with small children, how do you create the space to journey through Lent in a developmentally appropriate way? Our family has tried different practices and readings through Lent, but one thing has been constant in our Lenten practices: creating a collection of symbolic items in a central place in the home (i.e. on the family table or on a stand in a main living area).
As my boys grow and our family changes, this sacred space changes. Items I always include are a candle, a cross, an empty bowl to represent fasting, a scripture passage and/or prayer, and a small Bible. All of these items are placed on a purple cloth. We’ve also included a poem, art postcard or alms tin some years. Read more >
Holy Week Services
Service of Symbol
The Service of Symbol invites participants into a meditative time of interacting with eight stations set up throughout the church, with each station offering a different symbol of Holy Week. Chimes are sounded to suggest transition times; however, individuals move at their own pace, unhurried, and can choose to do as many stations as they would like. Bible verses are provided to deepen reflection and offer multiple perspectives on the symbols. Resource contributed by St. Gabriel the Archangel, Cherry Hills Village. For more information, please contact The Rev. Chris Ditzenberger.