Practices for Lent


This blog seems to have come full circle, and we find ourselves again at lent where Sara began this time last year. This journey towards living liturgically has been a rich experience, and it continues. The word lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, meaning ‘lengthen’, in reference to the lengthening days of early spring in the lead up to Easter. Here in the Southern Hemisphere however, our days are shortening. Of course we can still use this season to prepare our hearts for Easter, but I am also interested in finding new ways, particular to my little sub-tropical corner of the world, of connecting the church calendar seasons with the reality of my physical surroundings. This is an ongoing interest of mine and I would love to hear any thoughts or suggestions of resources you might have. When this blog began last year, Sarah, Sara and I were all living in Vancouver, Canada. Mid 2012 Sarah and her family moved to California and in December of 2012 my little family relocated back to Brisbane, Australia. I hope our various, differing experiences from across the globe will continue to enrich what we have to offer each other and this space.

This lent I plan to take a break from the internet. Am I using the word correctly if I say that it is ironic that a place so full of information, ideas and inspiration can at the same time be life-taking? I recognize this tension and yet I find it hard to resist. I find it much too easy to spend my spare moments (Ignatius’ nap times) trawling through my favourite blogs, facebook status updates or random sites that I happen upon through links linked from links(!).  And while these virtual spaces are full of beautiful things with the potential to inspire, I find that I spend a great deal of my time observing, pinning and coveting objects, recipes, crafts and ideas, so that I have very little time or energy to be creative in my own right.

I hope that by taking a break from these distractions I will be able to quiet my head and heart and connect anew with the ultimate Creator for inspiration. I hope to spend more time being still, journaling, praying, reading and making my own art.

Lent-2Some practices I hope to participate in this lent. Perhaps you might find some of these useful or have others to offer:

Shrove Tuesday ~ 12th February:

  •  make pancakes for breakfast (we had a yummy feast this morning)

Ash Wednesday ~ 13th February:

  • attend a special Ash Wednesday mass with the imposition of ashes

Sometime during lent:

  • make pretzels – a recipe and why
  • make some beeswax candles and a wreath of some description (I am going to follow this liturgy for Holy Week, taken from Eggs and Ashes by Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill, which uses 6 candles and one larger Easter candle)
  • decorate eggs

Palm Sunday ~24th March

  • make a palm branch cross like this one (unlike Vancouver we have plenty of palm branches here…)

Maundy Thursday ~ 28th March

Good Friday ~ 29th March

Easter Sunday ~ 31st March

  • CELEBRATE with jubilation and lots of Hallelujahs
  • host a special meal
  • decorate with flowers

Lent-3Another lovely idea for those in cooler climates would to try and force some bulbs ready for Easter Sunday celebrations.

This beautiful wreath can be used for Advent and Lent count downs

Some interesting ways a family celebrates the season

*I drew these illustrations for the stations of the cross a few years ago*

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