My Lent 2020 Reviewed

In the Episcopalian tradition, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. As such, and because I am Episcopalian, today is that last day of Lent. So I thought it would be good to review my Lent.

Here is what I initially planned on doing for Lent:

  • Starting Lent with a day off from work on Ash Wednesday during which my wife Kim and I would attend an Ash Wednesday service at our church, pictured in the fea
  • Praying Daily Devotions both morning and at the close of the day.
  • Reading Lent Is Not Rocket Science: An Exploration of God, Creation, and the Cosmos: Meditations for 40 Days of Lent by W. Nicholas Knisely, the 13th and current bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.
  • Denying myself alcohol and soda throughout Lent.
  • Ending Lent by going to church that Saturday, Holy Saturday, or Sunday, Easter, depending on my schedule.

And here’s what I actually did:

  • Kim and I went church on Ash Wednesday. Photo above is the altar from our home church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Wellsboro.
  • I prayed Daily Devotions from The Book of Common Prayer.
  • I mostly denied myself alcohol and soda through Lent. We did “imbibe” wine for my wife’s 50th birthday, which was this past Monday.

After a few days of Lent Is Not Rocket Science, I decided that no, it really was not and instead chose a book recommended by Deb from the blog Readerbuzz: Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days by Trevor Hudson. I also used A Mindful Year: 365 Ways To Find Connection and the Sacred in Everyday Life by Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh and Dr. Seth J. Gillihan. I either would use one or the other, or both, depending on the day and what I felt applied.

As for the last thing “ending Lent by going to church,” I will be doing that but not physically but virtually. But to be honest, I’ve gone to church more in the last couple of weeks than I did previously.

For the last couple of weeks, and yesterday for Good Friday, I have been attending Washington National Cathedral, which has been a balm for my soul. My wife and I also “did” Stations of the Cross at our home church.

Updated Sunday morning: I went to TWO church services, one at our local church and then this one at Washington National Cathedral. Highlights are at 49:26: Sermon by The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church, and then right after his sermon, at 1:06:23, with The Episcopal Church Virtual Choir and Orchestra.

Name one thing you’ve got going for you that is nice.

Lenten Plans 2020

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 today during which my wife and I are attending an Ash Wednesday service at our church and then staying in a meditative frame of mind the rest of the day by listening to quiet music and reading.
  • 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.
  • Reading Lent Is Not Rocket Science: An Exploration of God, Creation, and the Cosmos: Meditations for 40 Days of Lent by W. Nicholas Knisely, the 13th and current bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. According to his biography on the diocesan website, Knisely was a graduate student at the University of Delaware when he decided to leave behind his studies of Physics and Astronomy and was sent to Yale/Berkeley Divinity School to study for the priesthood. He also taught Physics and Astronomy for nearly seven years at Lehigh University while he was serving in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
  • Denying myself alcohol and soda throughout Lent.
  • 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 have practices within it to reflect on our faith daily and/or periodically? Anything you read for your particular faith? If you have no faith tradition, how do you relax/meditate/stay calm?

I used my post from last year on my Lenten Plans 2019 as a template for this post.