Lenten Disciplines

This post is the follow up to our 'Ascension Ed' sessions on Lenten disciplines, it can of course be used by all who find it here.  Look for updates to this post in the next week, as we all prepare for Lent

Prayer

  • The Book of Common Prayer 1979 - https://dailyoffice.wordpress.com/
    • Following the book can be complex, but worthwhile, the website or “eCP” app simplify following this liturgy
  • Common Prayer - http://commonprayer.net/
    • This prayer book includes a liturgy for each day of the year, the “Pocket Edition” is abbreviated and requires a little more of the user. 
  • There are many versions of the Book of Common Prayer, both based on location and by date.  For example, here in the United States our current prayer book is the 1979 BCP, the prior book from 1928 remains a great resource for prayer.  Similarly, the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer has become popular as it offers an easy to follow Daily Office as well.

Meditations

Scripture

The body is a gift from God, how we care for it is important.  Lent can be a time when we take on disciplines that may be good for our body or Creation in general.

Eating Practices

  • Observing a Kosher Diet: this would likely require some adjustments to accomplish in its purest form, but could also help one immerse themselves in scripture
  • Daniel Diet: another Biblical example of eating, both of these not only require a participant to engage with scriptures, but experience the purpose of dietary laws, both in their need for obedience and how they set God’s people apart from non-observers 
  • Being Vegetarian: a simpler approach.  While not “Biblical” it would likely require you to make some changes.  These changes are likely to be better for you and for the demands on creation 

Physical Practice

  • Walking or Running
    • In addition to the benefits of the activity itself, running and walking can help you engage with God and community.  It can be used as prayer time, or a time to meet your neighbors or fellow pedestrians.
  • Yoga: it is good for the body, mind and soul.  Finding the right class for you can be a challenge, maybe Lent is a time to commit to trying a few and finding a place that allows you to practice well and improve your mindfulness.
  • Quiet stillness: this can be a more difficult challenge than the others!  Carving out a set time to just sit.  You can be intentional in your listening, or simply enjoy being.
The earth is a gift from God, how we care for it is important.  

Ecological Practices

  • Line drying laundry: it will reduce your electric bill...but more importantly it can reduce your contribution to Climate Change.  Perhaps you can use the time you hang the laundry as a prayerful moment too.
  • Eliminate plastic bags: it is easy to forget that these bags add to our petroleum dependence AND have created a substantial pollution on land and at sea.  Use Lent as a time to commit yourself to not using any plastic bags.
  • Do an energy audit: examine your electric use at home or work and see where it might be reduced.  This could include reducing the amount of driving you do, either by carpooling, public transport or bicycle.