Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving as we prepare ourselves for Easter. Rather than thinking of this as a time of giving up, think of Lent as a time for do-ing. Do something for yourself - expand your faith, make time for prayer. Do something for others - volunteer your time, help someone in need, share Lent with your children.
Attend Lenten University on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Make Wednesday evenings part of your Lenten routine. Bring the family for a shared meal, fellowship and learning. We have a special program – Lenten Lesson for Little Leaders – for children ages 4-10. Youth are invited to participate in Lenten University. Nursery care is available by request for newborns-3 years, contact Alex Howard.
Participate in 40 Items in 40 Days. Lent is a wonderful time to simplify your life and home. Set aside one item to donate every day during Lent. Donate items to St. Bartholomew’s Thrift Shop where profits benefit our Outreach efforts. The Thrift Shop truck will be in the church parking lot on April 7 and 8.
Pray daily. If you need a help quieting your mind or focusing on your prayer, try using an online guided prayer like d365.org (it’s also a free app). You’ll find a short, simple devotional each day with background music. Forward Day by Day (prayer.forwardmovement.org, also an app for $6.99) provides daily inspirational meditations reflecting on a specific Bible passage.
Create a prayer space at home. A prayer space provides us, especially children, with a visual cue that invites prayer and reflection. A prayer space can include a candle as a symbol of God’s presence with us, a purple cloth to represent the season of Lent, an empty bowl that represents our fast, so we have more time or energy to remember to talk to God during Lent, a cross and Bible.
Be present. Unplug from your cell phone each evening or turn off your car radio on your commute. You may find with the silence you are able to concentrate better and are more observant of your surroundings.
Be prepared for worship. Make a commitment to read the Sunday scriptures before you go to worship. Familiarizing yourself with the readings ahead of time helps you experience the message in a deeper way on Sunday. You can find weekly readings on St. Bart’s website or on the St. Bart’s app.
Give to others as you fast. How much do you spend at the coffee shop every day? Does your family eat out regularly (maybe too much)? During Lent, fast from the extras in your life (coffee, eating out, clothing), then give the money you would have spent to a charity.
Attend daily worship during the Triduum. The Triduum consists of Maundy Thursday at 7 p.m. (the last supper and Jesus washing the feet of his disciples), Good Friday (Jesus’ crucifixion and death) at 12 p.m., 4 p.m. stations of the cross for children, youth and families and 7:30 p.m., and Easter Vigil Saturday or Easter Sunday. See the full Holy Week schedule at St. Bart’s.
We often do something different with our lives during Lent, then immediately return to our usual routine after Easter. This year, consider continuing one or more of your Lenten practices throughout the entire year.