In the Episcopalian tradition, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Because I am Episcopalian, at least in name, not in church attendance, that is how long I will be observing Lent. Here is what I plan on doing for Lent, in accordance with invitation from the Book of Common Prayer (p. 265) to observe Lent “by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word”:
- Starting Lent with a day off from work this coming Wednesday during which I plan to have a day of “quiet contemplation,” as I entered in my Google Calendar and invited my wife, who also happens to be off, to join me.
- Praying Daily Devotions both morning and at the close of the day, using the website of the Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church. The devotions also include links to readings from the Bible for the day, which I plan on reading too.
- Denying myself alcohol and soda throughout Lent.
- Reading Meeting Jesus on the Margins: Meditations on Matthew 25, daily reflections for Lent, by Mike Kinman, Becca Stevens, Allison Duvall, Bo Cox, Hugo Olaiz, Lee Anne Reat, and Richelle Thompson, all of whom are either ministers or laypeople from the Episcoplal Church. The book is also from Forward Movement, and I plan on reading these during my daily devotions in the morning.
- Reading Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor on Sundays during Lent. For a lot of Lents, I have picked out several books that I want to read and then only get to one of them, so this year instead I am picking only one. I considered a few others, but I think this is the one I need to read right now.
- Ending Lent by going to church that Saturday, Holy Saturday, or Sunday, Easter, depending on my schedule.
If you are a Christian and observe Lent, what are your plans for the season? If you belong to another faith tradition, do you meditate? Anything you read for your particular faith? If no faith tradition, how do you relax/meditate/stay calm?