Lent 2015: Everything You Need, All in One Place

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16 January 2015 by thaliakr

What do you need if you’re interested in Lent this year?

Do you want to do some kind of traditional or modern fasting? Do you want to try a new spiritual practice for six weeks, or do a new kind of change-the-world activity? Is there some aspect of Jesus’ life or character you want to learn more about, or a particular way you want to become more like him?

Lent can be one of the richest times of the year for people exploring or immersed in Christian spirituality.

It’s an annual, extended opportunity to focus on the life and work of Jesus and consider our own responses to his call to follow him.

Lent 2015: Everything you need, all in one place, for both kids and adults | Sacraparental.com

This is my third Lent as a blogger, so I realised there’s plenty of stuff here to check out if you are looking for some ideas for your own Lenten journey this year. I thought I’d put it all in one place for you, with plenty of time to think about what will be most helpful for you (and perhaps your household).

Last year I laid out a plan for practising Lent at home, based around a daily mealtime ritual, particularly for adults and kids to do together. There were candles, artworks, questions, movies, conversation starters and real-life challenges.

I also wrote a series of posts on the origins of Lent and how it has evolved around the world over time. The year before, I followed Stewardship UK’s challenge to life ‘A Generous Lent’.

All of those posts, plus some more on the special days of Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, and Easter week, are listed below. Click away to find something that catches your eye for this year.

Start with a Party; Start with Ashes

7 simple tips for throwing a pancake party! | Sacraparental.com

The last day before Lent – Tuesday 17 February this year – is party time. For everything you need to know about Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or Carnival, among other names), check out these posts:

7 Simple Tips for throwing a Pancake Party (an article at Kiwi Families)

The story of the first pancake party we threw, when our son was a baby, and I was still pretty unwell. It was low-key and great! We made lasting friendships from this day.

Some amazing photographs of Carnival celebrations around the world.

After the party comes the sombre contemplation.

Lent begins (on 18 February this year) on Ash Wednesday. Definitely check out Jekheli Kibami Singh’s moving guest post on what the ashes remind her of.

Sacraparental Lent with Kids (and adults!)

Lent with kids, Sacraparental Lent with kids, Christian parenting, doing Lent at home, Lent with a familyIf there are kids or teenagers in your life who you want to team up with for Lent, here’s everything you need for the whole six weeks:

Advent with Toddlers (which the Lent pattern was inspired by)

Sacraparental Lent with Kids (setting out the idea broadly – there’s more detail in the next post)

Lent with Kids Week 1: Getting Ready – START HERE if you just want to get cracking.

Lent with Kids, Week 1: Jesus is Wise (a focus on the Bible texts and the practice of wisdom)

Lent with Kids, Week 1: Wisdom at Home

Lent with Kids Week 2: Jesus and the Prophets Make us Brave

Lent with Kids Week 3: Jesus Gives Us Important Jobs to Do

Lent with Kids Week 4: Jesus Gives Us a Fresh Start

Lent with Kids Week 5: Jesus is in Charge of Life

Lent with Kids Week 6, Palm Sunday: Jesus is a Surprising King

Easter with Kids: 32 Ideas for Celebrating Together

What’s the Point of Lent?

Jesus fasting in the desert, Jesus and his followers not fasting, Christian parenting, Lent throughout history, fasting in the Bible, fasting in the New Testament, Scot McKnight on fasting, fasting in the early church, what's the point of Lent?This is a four-part series surveying the development of Lenten practices from the Old Testament to the present, looking for guidance as we create our own Lenten practices.

What’s the Point of Lent? #1: Starting with the Old Testament (with a particular focus on what the point of fasting might be, and how to miss the point)

What’s the Point of Lent? #2: Jesus and the Early Church

What’s the Point of Lent? #3: Orthodox Practices

What’s the Point of Lent? #4: Roman Catholic Practices

A Generous Lent

In 2013 I followed Stewardship UK’s 40 Acts of Generosity pattern and blogged through it. If you want more to read, you can catch up on those here:

40 acts of generosity, lent reflections, stewardship uk

A Generous Lent (introduction)

A Generous Lent, Act 1: Build a Generosity Kit

A Generous Lent, Act 6: Be a Mentor

A Generous Lent, Act 13: Share the Bible

A Generous Lent, Act 31: Listen

Stewardship runs a new version of the 40 Acts pattern each year, and you can find the current one here. These are excellent, contemporary resources, well worth your time.

Easter and Holy Week

Everything you need to celebrate Easter with kids! 32 ideas for celebrating together | Sacraparental.com

I’ve also written a few posts on Eastery things, here and for my column on the parenting website Kiwi Families:

Want more? Got more?

I have a Lent board on Pinterest that you can follow or browse (even if you’re not a member, I think). You can also follow me on Facebook for daily snippets.

What else would you like? With all this material already on the blog, I feel nicely free to write on anything over Lent this year. I’ll take requests!

Please let us all know in the comments if you’ve got any other resources or links to share. And I’d love to hear from you how you have celebrated Lent in the past, and/or what you have planned for this year. I’d be keen to feature some guest posts on what you do, so please let me know if you’re interested in writing one.

Lent 2015: Everything you need, all in one place, for both kids and adults | Sacraparental.com

Don’t miss a post or a tip-off! Keep in touch with Sacraparental throughout Lent by following Sacraparental on Facebook (for daily extras), signing up for email updates (the box at the top right) and/or following me on Pinterest (the Lent and Easter boards are particularly relevant just now, and I also have a couple called Art for the Church and Change the World that you might like).

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5 thoughts on “Lent 2015: Everything You Need, All in One Place

  1. kiwienzian says:

    Thanks for these!  I wasn’t aware of ’40 acts of generosity’ and have signed up for their emails for this year.  I’ve typically done austere-type things for lent and wonder about trying something different this year.

    Two other lenten resources that I am aware of are:

    1. The Household Covenant.  This is from an Australian group called ‘Manna Gum’ who are trying to encourage Christians to live more Biblically in terms of economics, communality etc.  The Household Covenant is a set of 7 Bible studies (one for each week of Lent) that look at 7 areas of life.  The ‘covenant’ part is that you’re then encouraged to make one change in each of these areas over the next 12 months.  The areas are things like ‘work and leisure’, ‘poverty’, ‘giving’, ‘savings and investment’ etc.

    I was really encouraged/challenged by the reflections of two people whose households tried it last year: especially one person who had a refugee living with her at the time and realised that actually splashing out at IKEA and using more electricity than usual by keeping the lights on all night was actually in the spirit of the covenant, as these things made her home more welcoming to a refugee :-)

    2. A daily reflection that I typically do each evening during lent.  I take about 15 minutes over it, reflecting on my day guided by a set of questions, then praying about what is revealed.

    I’ve made up the questions myself, but they’re strongly based on a reflection from a Bible study from Lyfe in the UK.  Unfortunately they’ve changed their website and you can no longer get to their studies without signing in, but it was a follow-up to a study on ‘holiness’ from a series on Richard Foster’s idea of the ‘streams’ of the church (holiness, charismatic, evangelical, social justice, charismatic and maybe more I can’t remember!).

    Here are the questions:

    Spend some time with God each day, ask
    him to purify your heart and mind through the power of the Holy
    Spirit.  Be willing to surrender to God.

    You may want to ask him questions such as:
    – What words have I used that have hurt others?
    – What actions or activities have I engaged in that are unhelpful or block my relationship with you?
    – What ‘fruits’ needs to grow in me: characteristics such as love, joy,
    peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and
    self-control?

    Holiness grows out of prayers like these.

    Looking to tomorrow, take time to consider who or where God might want
    you to serve.  What opportunities might arise where you can resist being
    the first, best or most important person?  Are there situations at
    home, work or in everyday life where you can serve others tomorrow?  Are
    there times where you can allow others to be first?  Pray for the grace
    to be able to lay aside pride and take the place of a servant.

    I’ve found them really productive, and not too repetitive for the length of time I use them for, although if I try to continue with them after lent they start to be less useful after a week or two.

    Cheers!

    –Heather :-)

  2. Nicola says:

    Hi TKR. I went looking for your lent pinterest board and pinterest couldn’t find the page. Just thought you should know :) Nicola

  3. Nicola says:

    Just had another try, the link in the last paragraph works, just not the link in the first sentence under the heading “Want more?”. But yay, I found your board so I’m happy. As you can tell I’m in lent planning mode for myself and my teens. Thanks for post! xx Nic

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