Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter Sunday, a total of 40 days (not including Sundays) echoing Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness (Luke 4).
“The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are at the heart of the Christian gospel, and Good Friday and Easter are two of the most significant celebrations of the Christian year. Lent is a season of preparation and repentance during which we anticipate Good Friday and Easter. Just as we carefully prepare for big events in our personal lives, such as a wedding or commencement, Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ passion and celebrating Jesus’ resurrection” (The Worship Sourcebook).
We recommend the following resources as guides for your own practice of prayer in this season.
An American Lent.
A 50-day devotional to enable all of us to
recognize the persistent legacy of slavery, repent with sorrow, and
respond meaningfully in the context of relationships. You may download the devotional or sign up to receive it daily by email.
On Keeping a Holy Lent by Rev. Craig Higgins [4 pages]. An introduction to the practices of Lent, especially for those new to the Church Year.
New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp. Brief reflections on the gospel of grace for every day of the year.
Lent Project from Biola University. Aesthetically rich daily meditations throughout the Lenten season. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, each day's meditation includes Scripture, art, poetry, music, and a written reflection.
Resources for Families & Children [from Karen Emery]
1. Preparing for Easter: A Family Lenten Devotional – Go to kidscorner.reframemedia.com/activities and choose the e-book titled “Because of Jesus” to download and use.
2. Illustrated Children’s Ministry – Bible story coloring pages for children and families with an illustration for each of the 7 last words from the cross available as a PDF file by request from Karen Emery (firstname.lastname@example.org). Used in conjunction with Fleming Rutledge's book below, this could be a weekly discussion and activity for families leading up to the resurrection.
3. The Seven Last Words from the Cross by Fleming Rutledge. Brief meditations well-suited for reading aloud.
Music [from Micah Behr]
Songs of Common Prayer
The Daily Office - traditional morning & evening prayer from the Book of Common Prayer
Pray As You Go - brief music, scripture reading, and questions for reflection in the Ignatian tradition
Read Scripture - a guide for daily Bible reading from The Bible Project
“A journey, a pilgrimage! Yet, as we begin it, as we make the first step into the ‘bright sadness’ of Lent, we see - far, far away - the destination. It is the joy of Easter, it is the entrance into the glory of the Kingdom” (Alexander Schmemann, 20th century Orthodox theologian).