LENT is the second penitential season of the Christian year, observed as a preparation for Easter. It lasts for six weeks, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Eve; the last week of Lent is Holy Week, when the Church remembers the final week of Jesus’ life, from the cleansing of the Temple on Palm Sunday to his crucifixion on Good Friday, and his resting in the tomb on Holy Saturday. As the date of Easter varies from year to year, so do the dates of Lent.
Lent was originally observed as a time of preparation for new Christians who were to be baptised and confirmed at the Easter Vigil on Easter Eve, and thus be admitted to full membership of the Church. It became customary for their sponsors and other members of the Church to accompany them on their spiritual journey, and today Lent is generally observed throughout the Church as a time of spiritual reflection and deepening of faith. A wide variety of material is produced each year for this purpose, and I give below two Lent courses that I have produced, and two sets of meditations for Holy Week. Although designed for Lent, they can be used at any time of the year.
The Life Hidden With Christ in God – ‘You died; and now your life lies hidden with Christ in God.’ St Paul’s words to the Colossians provide the theme for these meditations following the journey of St Paul through Greece from Kavalla to Corinth, and reflecting on his understanding of what it means to be baptised. This concise Lent course offers two meditations for each week of Lent, drawing their inspiration from one the places on St Paul’s route, together with points for reflection. [Read now]
The Time Has Come – Covering the whole of St Mark’s gospel, this book offers a reflection for each day of Lent (though it can also be tackled in longer sections), each ending with a short spiritual exercise. It can be used both individually and by groups.
[Published by Columba Press 2006. Print version only; available direct from Peter Sills.]
According to John – ‘Right from the opening words of his gospel John makes plain the conflict which surrounded Jesus.’ The focus of these meditations is the drama rather than the teaching. The events may have taken place almost two thousand years ago, but the feelings and motivation of those involved have a very contemporary feel. This is the story of every age. As we enter into it we understand what it means to say that Jesus died for our sins. [Read now]
Don’t Weep for Me – a set of meditations for Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, based on the account in St Luke’s Gospel. [Read now]