An Invitation to a Holy Lent

Lent cometh. Tomorrow, in fact.

I invite you to take on a Lenten Discipline this year. You could give up chocolate. Or, you could take on the “40 bag challenge,” and remove a bag of unneeded items from your closets each day (and bring it to the rummage sale…) Or, you could take a fast from the news. (I did that a few years ago, and I was amazed that in 40 days, nothing had really changed anyway.)

But, whatever you do, choose something that will bring you closer to God, strengthen your spirit, so that when Easter arrives you will be ready to greet the Resurrected Christ with a renewed heart.

Here are two additional options for consideration of your Lenten Discipline:

Lent Madness

Lent Madness began in 2010 as the brainchild of the Rev. Tim Schenck, an Episcopal rector who was seeking a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the Church’s Calendar of Saints. Tim came up with this unique Lenten devotion which combines his love of sports with his passion for the lives of the saints.

The format is straightforward: 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 to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo. The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move ino the area of saintly kitsch.

It’s not only enlightening, it’s also a lot of fun. It’s become a Lenten favorite among Episcopalians these days.

Download your bracket here.

Visit the Lent Madness webpage to sign up for their daily email, read their daily posts, or to find them on Facebook.

Daily Morning Prayer

A few months ago I wrote an article for the Lion’s Roar about the practice of Morning Prayer. Morning Prayer, as found in the Book of Common Prayer includes prayers, a psalm, a reading from scripture, a canticle, and intercessions for the church and world.

Each day of Lent (excluding Sundays) I’m going to be emailing out a brief and easy-to-follow version of Morning Prayer for that day. I invite you to take 10 minutes out of each day to pause and pray as your Lenten discipline this year.