Lent Beyond the Madness

This morning at 8 a.m., we learned that Molly Brant had defeated Swithun to earn a spot in the Saintly Sixteen. This will be the only Sunday morning voting result of Lent Madness 2015. For many Lent Madness fans, today will be hard, because this is the first day in Lent without any voting. People will be twiddling their thumbs, constantly refreshing their web browsers, or scouring their homes for something purple. This unsettled feeling is familiar to veterans here, and it’s called Lent Madness Withdrawal (LMW). This one day won’t be so bad, but future weekends will involve two days without voting. So to help with LMW, and even more important, to suggest some other ways to engage Lenten practices, we thought we’d share a few ideas.

lentAlthough the Supreme Executive Committee commends Lent Madness to every man, woman, child, dog, and ferret, we also acknowledge that the saintly smackdown is only part of a well-rounded diet of Lenten discipline. As we wrote on Ash Wednesday, “This Lenten season, we invite you to draw closer to our Lord Jesus. Give up those things which keep you away from Jesus. Take on those things that bring you closer to Jesus.”

Here are a few ideas for Lenten practices that might bring you closer to Jesus.

  • Episcopal Relief & Development has produced some excellent daily devotions for the Lenten season. You can read these online for free, although the SEC encourages you to make a donation to support their work.
  • Our official sponsor, Forward Movement, has an entire section of their vast online store devoted to Lenten and Easter resources. Check them out. Because Lent has already begun, you might especially check out their collection of ebooks, available for Kindle, Nook, and iBook.
  • The brothers at the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) are releasing daily videos on the theme “It’s time to…Stop, Pray, Work, Play & Love. There’s also a free workbook for download.
  • Anglicans Online lists an array of resources for this season from around the Anglican Communion.
  • Check out #LivingLent from the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
  • Make sure you learn about the offerings at your local church. Online activities are great, but even the SEC encourages Christians to be part of an in-person worshipping community and a small group for study.

There are lots more resources. Please leave your favorites in the comments. And set your alarms, because the voting resumes tomorrow morning as Hadewijch takes on Juan Diego starting at 8 a.m. EST.

44 Comments to "Lent Beyond the Madness"

  1. February 22, 2015 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Morning and Evening Prayer, and other resources, at http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html

  2. February 22, 2015 - 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter.

  3. February 22, 2015 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

    This blog, based on the “An Australian Lectionary” summarises the Bible readings for Morning and Evening Prayer, provides a morning collect and an evening collect framed from the themes in the readings. It has photographs of Australia – rural and remote, gardens and creatures – that help reflection. It has been going for a year and there are more USA readers than Australians – so don’t be deterred that the Lectionary is a bit different.
    Though upside down we are all going on the same journey. The blog works on phones and tablets.
    From Mulwala, Australia.

  4. Gloriamarie Amalfitano's Gravatar Gloriamarie Amalfitano
    February 22, 2015 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I wish the links for Anglicans Online Rsources for Lent and Easter were actually up to date.

  5. February 22, 2015 - 5:13 pm | Permalink
  6. relling's Gravatar relling
    February 22, 2015 - 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I heard the most amazing program from St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. ABC Justin Welby
    spoke on how to keep a good Lent. I can’t do justice to it, but it is easy to find online. I
    suscribe to ST. Paul’s through Facebook, so that’s how I learned about it. Listen to it. You
    will be so happy to have done so.

    • Dorrie Johnson's Gravatar Dorrie Johnson
      February 22, 2015 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for posting this information. I did listen and found it informative, uplifting and hopefully doable (I hope).

  7. February 22, 2015 - 5:32 pm | Permalink

    This morning we had our third Ash Sunday– here’s the rationale I published in our Newsletter: “We are doing this because the Ash Wednesday Liturgy is so profound, its invitation to a holy Lent so important, and the imposition of ashes as a sign of our mortality so poignant, that I want as many parishioners as possible to experience it— not least our children, who have seldom attended Ash Wednesday services these past many years.” The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Are there any other churches who celebrate Ash Sunday?

    • Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
      February 23, 2015 - 11:07 am | Permalink

      I’m a traditionalist to the core, but am also pragmatic enough to know that we must find ways to reach out to people in non-traditional ways if we are to proclaim the Word to other than empty buildings. Just as God meets each of us where we are, so must we meet others. Or we can continue to do things as they’ve always been done for the enjoyment and comfort of fewer and fewer people. JMO

      • February 23, 2015 - 11:31 am | Permalink

        Thank you for articulating this so well.

        • Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
          February 23, 2015 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

          My pleasure!

  8. j's Gravatar j
    February 22, 2015 - 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Dear Lent Madness gurus, I am unable to vote from the email shown on my iPad. From my computer I can vote from my email fine. Have you conquered the Apple worm which causes this glitch?

  9. Wendy Webster Coakley's Gravatar Wendy Webster Coakley
    February 22, 2015 - 6:15 pm | Permalink

    A Year of Days with the Book of Common Prayer, by former Presiding Bishop Edmond Lee Browning. There’s a meditation for every day of the year, but it’s always on the top of my bedside table reading stack during Lent!

  10. Kathy Carson's Gravatar Kathy Carson
    February 22, 2015 - 6:25 pm | Permalink

    i made a list of the things hanging over my head that I’ve put off until I feel so burdened down I can’t see Christ or God’s love. My Lenten discipline is to tackle one task and work on it every day for an hour as a way to praise my Maker.

  11. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    February 22, 2015 - 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Bill, where is your church that celebrates Ash Sunday-think it is a great idea.

    • February 22, 2015 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

      St. Gregory’s in Deerfield, IL. I’d be happy to send you a copy of this year’s bulletin on Publisher; or I could send it on PDF. My email is WilliamsInk@msn.com.

  12. February 22, 2015 - 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to Evening Prayer service and our book study for Lent on Weds. nights – “A Grown-Up Lent: When Giving up Chocolate Isn’t Enough”

  13. Alice Speers's Gravatar Alice Speers
    February 22, 2015 - 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Also try a carbon fast. Check out Green Anglican.

  14. Sandra Mueller's Gravatar Sandra Mueller
    February 22, 2015 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Liked the comments about Ash Sundays. Great movement.
    Sorry Swithun didn’t make it to the next round, but let me tell you he is a powerful saint. I asked him for rain (we live in California) and there are gray billowing clouds in our sky now and a prediction of rain this next week! Defeated is not the word for Swithun. Swithun is truly humble.

  15. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    February 22, 2015 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    “Although the Supreme Executive Committee commends Lent Madness to every man, woman, child, dog, and ferret…” My cat is sorely put out.

    • Kris P's Gravatar Kris P
      February 22, 2015 - 7:46 pm | Permalink

      My cats, turtles, snake and fish (especially Thomas Merton the fish named during last year’s LM) are put out as well. They have asked me to petition the SEC on their behalf, especially since they are pressuring me to vote for St Francis.

    • Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
      February 23, 2015 - 7:50 am | Permalink

      You know that cats would take to Lenten discipline as well as they take to any other discipline. My cat refuses to observe Lent.

  16. glenda woodward's Gravatar glenda woodward
    February 22, 2015 - 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I make a weekly commitment to go round the stations of the cross. Very humbling and really brings the whole meaning to the front of my thoughts.

  17. Noel Bailey's Gravatar Noel Bailey
    February 22, 2015 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I have neither dog nor ferret, but had to hide your post from my cats, trusting that you will include them in Lent Madness soon. (Sigh)

  18. Louise's Gravatar Louise
    February 22, 2015 - 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Such wonderful resources and idea…thanks to all who participated.

  19. pris's Gravatar pris
    February 22, 2015 - 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Going to services is. A good start

  20. Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
    February 22, 2015 - 9:27 pm | Permalink

    The Audio Office daily recordings of MP and EP at http://www.StThomasPlymouth.org

  21. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    February 22, 2015 - 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Trying to do less rather than more–devoting time to just listening for God, also searching out opportunities for community ervice.

  22. Robin's Gravatar Robin
    February 22, 2015 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I am reading “The Emptiness of Our Hands” during Lent.
    All creatures great and small folks I’m sure the SEC has room for them all!!

  23. Christina Thom's Gravatar Christina Thom
    February 23, 2015 - 1:25 am | Permalink

    First Sunday in Lent was enough without Lenten Madness. Great litany , Psalms sung by a rabbi, Latin music, Hebrew music, and a English liturgy made a Holy day for us.

  24. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    February 23, 2015 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    One way to get through Lent Madness Withdrawal this year is to read all the comments I didn’t have time to read during the week. So many offer additional pathways and surprising insights. Also, books by and about saints from all editions of LM are well worth reading. And future LM candidates, such as Desmond Tutu, will enrich Lenten hours as well.

  25. Cathy Randall's Gravatar Cathy Randall
    February 23, 2015 - 11:49 am | Permalink

    “Here are a few ideas for Lenten practices that might bring you closer to Jesus” prompts me to offer humbly a weekly Lenten study entitled PEOPLE OF THE PASSION. The publisher’s description is “It is a simple theological truth: We become more like Jesus when we draw close to him. People of the Passion unpacks this tenet in a powerful examination of some of the main characters of Jesus’ final days: Mary, Mother of Jesus; Mary Magdalene; Pilate; Nicodemus; Peter; and Judas.”

  26. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    February 23, 2015 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I can see parallels between “Ash Sunday” and condensing down all of the Holy Week story into Palm Sunday morning.

    My 2¢, your exchange rate may vary . . . also God loves all animals not just dogs & ferrets!

    • February 23, 2015 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

      I think that’s an apt comparison, Miss J, and for me your 2¢ has an exchange rate of $10,000 for kindness!

  27. Dorothee Caulfield's Gravatar Dorothee Caulfield
    February 23, 2015 - 2:46 pm | Permalink
  28. Cassandra's Gravatar Cassandra
    February 24, 2015 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    As a rule, people don’t listen to me – maybe it’s because the perceive me as negative – but I really hope you will hear these ideas:
    1) Consider using “What Wondrous Love”, a book of “devotions for the home”. It has a different set of prayers for each week of Lent, and special prayers for Holy Week and Easter. There are prayers to say with children, and activities to do too, like making pretzels. I used it when my daughter was young and it helped her understand Lent better as a season of reflection.
    2) Use Lent as a time to reflect on your everyday blessings, such as sleeping warm at night and having plenty of running water. Count your blankets. Count your faucets. Count all those your love. For each one of these, put money into your United Thank Offering Box. It is a wonderful way to raise funds, easily can include non- adults, and is very humbling. There are so many in the world missing these basic blessings.
    3) Lastly, our Guinea Pigs are miffed at being left out and say a loud “mweep!” In protest. They are especially interested in Lent Madness since one of them is named Irene, and hopes she’ll be victorious next month 🙂

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