I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but there is a cornucopia of offerings during this season of Lent.
I’m not sure if it’s due to lockdown that I’ve discovered more or whether everyone is trying to understand, worship & connect more through virtual media at the moment.
Normally I would prepare for Lent by attending the church pancake and coffee session on Shrove Tuesday, attend a church service on Ash Wednesday, give something up for Lent (usually alcohol or chocolate or both) and attend a service or two during Holy Week before looking forward to Easter Sunday with added alcohol and chocolate!
This year is different (& I have to say difficult to keep up as more and more opportunities appear on line). It is different, reflective and thought provoking.
It started routinely enough with a Zoom pancake Party and a Zoom Ash Wednesday service. Not the usual imposition of ashes but that option was also available online after a short search.
I intended to attend (virtually) my usual monthly meditation session (I didn’t because it clashed with something else) and a Centering Prayer session (I still hope to make that one – virtually of course!).
Someone had recommended listening to Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich. No problem with that as I programme an hour before sleep. I have to say I’ve not yet made the full hour awake but the first time I listened I had the best night’s sleep ever! Result!
Then we have the local church offerings. A prayer group on Mondays where we sample different types of prayer. A general discussion & Julian prayer so far with more to come.
In addition we have discussion groups every other Wednesday evening (I’m leading one on Rewilding the Church next week -contact Julia for the Zoom link if you want to take part – here endeth the plug!). Oh and of course there are weekly virtual services.
But there is more!
A local priest (Mel Langille) is offering a different version of Stations of The Cross each Friday at noon on Facebook.. It is also available to view later in the day. Beautiful offerings lasting about 45 minutes. I haven’t always made the live performance but I have listened each week and can recommend.
Finally, for now, another friend, a priest and nun from a religious community in the Western Isles started a Facebook Group called ‘The Little Lent Repair Shop’ which offers reflections twice daily during Lent. It’s a lovely group accessible to all but I confess I haven’t read all the contributions yet. I’m running out of time! I’ve posted some but not all reflections on our Facebook Page.
So what are you doing this Lent? I’m not for a moment suggesting you should follow all of the above but you might want to take a look and pick out something that interests you.
Alternatively you may have your own special favourite online (or other) reflection, prayer, worship or pastime which you might like to share.
If so comment here or if you are on FB make a comment there under this post.
One of the things I’ve learned is that we have such a variety of interests and knowledge in our congregation and it would be lovely to share that and keep some of these activities going after Easter.
Finally thank you for contributions to the book recommendation & review page and for the pictures of spring. Keep them coming!
Jean (& thanks to Oriole for the photo).