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Lent Resources

What is Lent?

The Christian year centers on the major events of salvation history, celebrating Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection, and the sending of the Holy Spirit. Lent refers to the forty days leading up to Easter, “In what part of the year could the observance of the forty-day fast be more appropriately instituted than that adjoining, so to speak, and touching on, the Lord’s Passion?,” said St. Augustine. The broad historic Christian tradition has set aside Lent as a time for self-examination, spiritual renewal, and growth. In many churches, it is seen as a time for fasting and abstinence, for alms-giving and acts of mercy, for repentance and prayer.

Lent is set aside as a special time for Christ Church Davis to remember that Jesus’ call to discipleship speaks to the smallest details of our daily lives. Remembering our commitment to follow Jesus leads us toward the joyful celebration of Easter Sunday. A time when we celebrate the resurrection and participate in the new life symbolized through our Easter baptism service. Baptism is an important Biblical sign and Sacrament associated with this season:

“Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ passion and celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. ... As a period of preparation, Lent has historically included the instruction of persons for baptism and profession of faith on Easter Sunday; the calling back of those who have become estranged from the church; and efforts by all Christians to deepen their piety, devotion, and readiness to mark the death and resurrection of their Savior. As such, the primary focus of the season is to explore and deepen a “baptismal spirituality” that centers on our union with Christ rather than to function only as an extended meditation on Christ’s suffering and death. The traditional color for the season is purple.”

(from the Worship Sourcebook, p.551-552)


Here are a few resources to aid you in contemplating and celebrating this season:

Reading Plans for Lent

Weekly Bible readings for Lent from the Revised Common Lectionary
http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/lections.php?year=A&season=Lent

Read the Church Fathers during Lent. These daily short readings are a great way to gain exposure to the writings of the early Church Fathers.
http://www.churchyear.net/lentfathers.html

Biblical Passages that explore the theme of Baptism during Lent
Baptized into Christ Jesus and his death – Romans 6:1-14
Children of God and fellows heirs with Christ – Romans 8:12-17
Crucified with Christ – Galatians 2:19-21
Baptized and put on Christ – Galatians 3:27-29
Seated with Him in the heavenlies – Ephesians 2:4-20
One body, one spirit, on Lord, one faith, one baptism – Ephesians 4:1-6
Raised and made alive with him through faith – Colossians 2:9-3:7
Create in me a clean heart, O God – Psalm 51
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord – Psalm 130

Articles about Lent:

On Asceticism - Jeremy Carey

http://onancientpaths.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/on-asceticism/

A Brief Guide for Lent (by Bruce Benedict and Elliot Grudem)
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1309853/Lenten-Guide-CTK-2011.pdf

Yes and No: Lent and the Reformed Faith Today - By John Witvliet
http://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/yes-and-no-lent-and-the-reformed-faith-today

Ash Wednesday Evangelism – Lauren Winner
http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0000405.cfm

Lent – Preparing for Easter – Christ Church Berkelely
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1309853/Lent-journey-to-easter-CCBerkeley.pdf

On Keeping a Holy Lent – Craig R. Higgins
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1309853/Lent_by_Craig_Higgins.pdf

40 ideas for Lent
http://old.shipoffools.com/lent/index.html

An Easter Sermon from the Church Father John Chrysostom
http://anglicansonline.org/special/Easter/chrysostom_easter.html

Books

Reflecting the Glory: Meditations for Living Christ’s Life in the World, N.T. Wright
(Augsburg, 1998) is a devotional book of brief meditations showing how we can reflect the glory of God by modeling our life after Christ. The book includes a study guide for personal or small group reflection and is ideal for the season of Lent or any other time.

Reliving the Passion, Walter Wangerin (Zondervan, 1992)
Wangerin retells the Passion story (from Mark's version) and gives it new relevance for today's reader. A forty-day devotional reader for the Lenten season.

Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster
(Harper, 1988) This book explores the "classic Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found.

Forty:  Devotions for Lent, Kory Plockmeyer
(Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2012) This Lenten devotional explores the biblical motif of "forty" through the stories of Noah, Moses, the exodus, Elijah, and Jonah.
http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/160517/forty.aspx

Free E-Books:

St. Athanasius - On the Incarnation of the Word is a classic work of theology written by St. Athanasius. He explains why God chose to approach his fallen people in human form. On the Incarnation of the Word was highly recommended by modern writer C.S. Lewis, who suggested that contemporary Christian audiences could benefit from reading more ancient classics. Indeed, though St. Athanasius wrote this text in the 4th century, his style is easy to follow and his concepts are of irreplaceable worth.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.html

Great Lent: A School of Repentance by Alexander Schmemann is a classic introduction to the meaning of Lent written by a contemporary Orthodox theologian http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/36415


Music

Contemporary Church Music

Rise O’ Buried Lord - Redeemer Church Knoxville (Stream the album for free)
http://redeemerknoxville.bandcamp.com/

Songs for Lent - New York Hymns (Free Download of Mp3’s, Music Charts, and Lyrics)
http://cardiphonia.org/2012/02/03/songs-for-lent-new-york-hymns/

Songs for the Supper - Cardiphonia (Download and stream the album for free)
http://cardiphonia.bandcamp.com/album/songs-for-the-supper

Musical versions of the Kyrie
http://cardiphonia.org/2011/03/23/why-sing-a-kyrie-for-lent/

Classical Composers to check out during Lent

Arvo Part
John Tavener
James MacMillan
Taize Music

The Prayer of St. Ephrem


O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, despair, lust for power and idle talk.

But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity (integrity), humility, patience and love.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ passion and celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. - from The Worship Sourcebook