Would you like to try something deeply spiritual for Lent? Consider adopting some new spiritual practices. Here are a few ideas for spiritual practices that you can adopt in various areas of your life.
Prayer and Worship
The season of Lent is an ideal time to reinvigorate your prayer life through public and private worship. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Make a commitment to participate in the Holy Eucharist every Sunday in Lent.
- Observe Sunday as the feast day it really is. Each Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection of Christ, with special prayers. Start with wearing something special to the Holy Eucharist, enjoy a good meal, and visit someone you care about.
- Pray the office during the week.
- Attend a mid-week service at the Cathedral:
- New Evening Prayer service at 5:30pm on Wednesdays.
- Wednesday 7:00 am Holy Eucharist with Healing Prayers
- Thursday 12:05 pm Holy Eucharist with Healing Prayers
Acts of Discipline and Self-Denial
Many Christians find it helpful to take on special acts of discipline or self-denial during the season of Lent to honor the suffering of Christ.
- Give to charity.
- Volunteer time for a charitable organization.
- Clean out your closets and give to the poor.
- Observe fast days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) on which a person has a light breakfast, one full meal and one half-meal during the day. (Water and clear liquids are allowed as needed.) Many who fast also abstain from meat and/or alcohol.
- Or, fast from technology by avoiding social media, electronic games or television.
- Give gifts of food to the Little Free Pantry next to the Cathedral on Cranberry Street.
Prepare for Easter
- Commit to participating in the special liturgies on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. The beautiful services of the Triduum remind us of the profound mysteries of our faith and the hope which is given us in Jesus Christ.
- Join the Wednesday evening program Becoming Beloved Community. Spend five weeks considering the ways that faith intersects with mission. Wednesdays March 13, 20, 27, April 3 & 10 from 6 til 7 in the Bishop’s Parlor. Simple supper of soup and bread provided.
- Commit to giving alms or performing acts of service for others. Serving Christ in others can look like taking a shift at the Safe Haven Shelter during our parish’s week there, place single serve food in the little free pantry on Cranberry Street, serving lunch at Downtown Daily Bread on the first Sunday of the month.
- Go on retreat for a few days. There are retreats planned for women and men of St Stephen’s this Lent. Or you might venture off to a retreat center for a few days of quiet. (Ask Shayna or Amy for recommendations).
- Consider doing something for the environment. The Episcopal Church Foundation has a link that shows how to reduce one’s carbon footprint to change the world for the better. A Lenten Carbon Fast
- Unclutter your life. Let go of things that you do not need. Thing of this as Marie Kondo for the soul: take one thing from your closet every day – put it into a bag and bring them to charity.
No one needs to do all of this. And if we each pursue the path of holiness that beckons us, we will come to know Christ in a new way.
May we be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory.