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18 Feb

Lent

Planning Lent and Easter for Worship and Discipleship (Year B)

Article

The early church created Lent as a season for the church to accompany people entering the final stretch of their preparation for baptism at Easter or rites of reconciliation and restoration during Holy Week (Maundy Thursday).

Planning Lent and Easter for Worship and Discipleship (Year B) »

Planning Lent and Easter (Year B) for Discipleship

Webinar

Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources for Discipleship Ministries, offers planning helps for Lent and Easter in this recorded webinar.

Planning Lent and Easter (Year B) for Discipleship »

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR EARLY IN LENT

Liturgy

This text is intended for use early in Lent, such as Ash Wednesday, the First Sunday in Lent, or the first Sunday in March (if it falls within Lent).

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR EARLY IN LENT »

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR LATER IN LENT

Liturgy

This text is intended for use later in Lent, such as Passion/Palm Sunday, the early days of Holy Week (prior to Thursday evening), or the first Sunday in April (if it falls within Lent).

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR LATER IN LENT »

PRAYERS AND COLLECTS FOR LENT AND HOLY WEEK

Liturgy

O God, your glory is always to have mercy.
Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways,
      and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith
      to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word,

PRAYERS AND COLLECTS FOR LENT AND HOLY WEEK »

Imagine No Malaria Lent Worship Resources

Website

 Churches can help make this Lenten season more meaningful with Sunday school lessons, images for social sharing, videos, sermon starters, donation boxes and more.

Imagine No Malaria Lent Worship Resources »

Handbell Music for Lent and Easter

Article

Handbell scores for Lent and Easter in Sibelius and pdf.

Handbell Music for Lent and Easter »

Stuff to Do During Lent (devozine)

Article

Fun and creative daily activities and practices for youth, families, youth groups -- or anyone of any age -- to do  to begin to understand and to observe the season of Lent and to prepare their hearts and lives for the celebration of Easter Resurrection and new life.

Stuff to Do During Lent (devozine) »

Lent 101

Website

Lent is a season of the Christian Year where Christians focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God.

Lent 101 »

A World Worth Saving: Lenten Spiritual Practices for Action

Book

by George Hovaness Donigian
For anyone who dismisses Lent as a seemingly endless time of self-sacrifice and introspection, this 6-week study for Lent offers a breath of fresh air. It connects prayer and other inner spiritual practices with outward actions of mercy and compassion.

A World Worth Saving: Lenten Spiritual Practices for Action »

Preaching Through the Season of Lent

Article

A topical series for the season of Lent could be shaped around Baptismal Covenant A, found on pages 88-92 of the United Methodist Book of Worship. Beginning with Ash Wednesday, the opening topic could focus on renouncing the spiritual forces of wickedness, rejecting the evil powers of this world, and repenting of sin. Why are these questions asked as part of our baptismal covenant? What is their historic grounding? What do they mean?

Preaching Through the Season of Lent »

An Embrace of Grace

Article

This poetic reflection is an expression of eucharistic piety that is infrequent in present-day Western Christianity. The author's experience invites readers to share the experience and to reflect on the potency of the eucharistic encounter with Holy One. 

An Embrace of Grace »

A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent

Book

by Sarah Parsons
Cities across the world celebrate the day-before with colorful parades and over-the-top parties. Then Wednesday arrives … Sigh. Lent. has. begun.  

A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent »

Burying the “Alleluia” During Lent?

Article

Some churches  bury or "hide" the Alleluia during Lent. Our United Methodist worship resources do not call for this and do not offer directions for doing so. However, there is a long tradition for suspending the use of Alleluia from either the Last Sunday after Epiphany or Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) until the first service of Easter. 

Burying the “Alleluia” During Lent? »

Connecting Worship and Daily Living in Lent

Article

Lent is a time of preparation for the initiation of people into the Christian life in baptism. It is also a time for the church to journey together toward Easter and the reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant. Lent is not about being miserable, sad, and funereal in anticipation of Good Friday.

Connecting Worship and Daily Living in Lent »

Changing Gears: A Meditation Based on Mark 8:31-38

Liturgy

Following Christ requires a complete reorientation. Do we really understand what Jesus is asking us to do? 

Changing Gears: A Meditation Based on Mark 8:31-38 »

Choral Introits and Calls to Worship for Lent and Holy Week

Article

There are a number of introits and calls to worship for Lent on the Discipleship Ministries website.  

Choral Introits and Calls to Worship for Lent and Holy Week »

Devilish Distractions!

Article

by Safiyah Fosua
What was it about Peter's rebuke in Mark 8:32 that so upset Jesus?We do not know the content of Peter's private rebuke but we can only assume that it was born out of love and loyalty. 

Devilish Distractions! »

Food for the Soul: A Series of Lenten Meditations

Article

We are pleased to share with you a series of Lenten meditations written by members of prison congregations across the country. 

Food for the Soul: A Series of Lenten Meditations »

Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer

Book

by J. David Muyskens It’s been said that Centering Prayer is like two friends sitting together in silence, just being in each other’s presence — completely natural and comfortable. Yet, Centering Prayer is sometimes viewed as too mysterious, too escapist, too hard. At first, it even appeared that way to the author, but events in his life and his further studies about prayer changed his views. Through Muyskens’ insightful guidance, you’ll explore a method of prayer that goes deeper than verbal conversations with God.  

Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer »

Family Lenten Offering

Article

During the forty days of Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter, take the time each day to share regular family devotions with your children.  

Family Lenten Offering »

Gospeled Lives: Encounters with Jesus

Book

A Lenten Study by John Indermark An encounter with the living Christ demands a response, John Indermark says. In this book you will learn about New Testament characters who encountered Jesus. Some responded with joy and gratitude. Others ignored or rejected his offer of good news.  

Gospeled Lives: Encounters with Jesus »

Living the Cross: A Service of Word and Table for Late Lent

Liturgy

This service was the concluding worship of a winter meeting of the Discipleship Ministries. We sought to add a more multisensory dimension to the service by use of digital media, crosses of various shapes and sizes, and nails. While it is not specifically oriented to Passion/Palm Sunday or Good Friday, it does pick up the journey of the church in deep Lent. Church worship planners may choose to adapt it or take parts of it for Holy Week.  

Living the Cross: A Service of Word and Table for Late Lent »

Lent: A Season of Baptismal Storytelling

Article

What is the purpose of Lent? What kind of focus does it call for?  

Lent: A Season of Baptismal Storytelling »

Making Ash Wednesday Accessible for Children

Article

Ash Wednesday can be among the most accessible of rituals in our liturgy for children and their families, IF it's not handled in a "stuffy" or overly formalistic way. The symbols involved are basic and very tangible. Children get this!  

Making Ash Wednesday Accessible for Children »

Prayer for the Days Between Transfiguration and Ash Wednesday

Article

Alleluia! You are the God of glory and might.Alleluia! In the face of death and evil you reveal your true glory. 

Prayer for the Days Between Transfiguration and Ash Wednesday »

Parables and Passion: Jesus’ Stories for the Days of Lent

Book

By John Indermark  Discover new insights about the passion story through the lenses of Jesus' parables.  

Parables and Passion: Jesus’ Stories for the Days of Lent »

Preaching the Festival Seasons

Article

Preaching from the Revised Common Lectionary during the Festival Seasons is perhaps less complicated than preaching the rest of the lectionary year. By Festival Seasons, we mean Advent/Christmas, Epiphany, Lent/Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost Sunday, and Trinity Sunday.  

Preaching the Festival Seasons »

Reaching Toward Easter: Devotions for Lent

Book

Derek Maul beckons you to join him on a devotional pilgrimage through Lent. Imagine yourself sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples. Walk with Jesus on the dusty path from Bethany to Jerusalem. Watch him closely and listen to his words of grace, hope, and challenge as he moves purposefully toward the Cross. Reaching Toward Easter features 49 daily devotions that include in-depth Bible study, personal stories, and prayers.  

Reaching Toward Easter: Devotions for Lent »

Special Lenten Season Offering

Article

The 40 days of Lent can be one of the most powerful and awesome times in the Christian year. Consider challenging your congregation to a season of prayer and fasting. Create a special prayer list of concerns and issues for the church, community, nation, and world -- just to mention a few areas.  

Special Lenten Season Offering »

Serving Christ Through Sharing With Others

Article

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is a day for us to examine our lives and to ask for God's forgiveness for our sins. 

Serving Christ Through Sharing With Others »

Stages on the Way

Book

Stages on the Way is an excellent collection of worship resources for the seasons of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. These resources were developed by the Iona Community in Scotland and published by the Wild Goose Worship Group, and are available in the U.S. from G.I.A (or check with Cokesbury to see if they have it in stock).   

Stages on the Way »

Sacred Breath: 40 Days of Centering Prayer

Book

by J. David Muyskens. 
When life takes an unexpected turn that leaves you reeling, sometimes you have to remind yourself to just breathe. But God is closer than the air you breathe. Grounded in scripture and Christian tradition, Sacred Breath walks you through the practice of Centering Prayer and helps you breathe in deeply the presence of God. 

Sacred Breath: 40 Days of Centering Prayer »

The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent

Book

By Pamela Hawkins  
It always lasts 40 days. But those 40 days occur on different dates from one year to the next. The 40 days occur immediately before Easter, but because Sundays are excluded from the count, the days of this season are not consecutive. Unlike other holy seasons, which typically begin on a Sunday, this one commences midweek. Believers approach it in a variety of ways.  

The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent »

Time for Change: Reflections on Lent and Easter

Article

Few times in the Christian year call us to reflect on transformational change like Lent leading toward Easter. Springtime is lush with rebirth, new beginnings, and new growth. Too often, however, we want to race to the Easter Resurrection without fully embracing the Lenten process that leads there. 

Time for Change: Reflections on Lent and Easter »

When Did United Methodists Start the “Imposition of Ashes” on Ash Wednesday?

Article

While many think of actions such as the imposition of ashes, signing with the cross, footwashing, and the use of incense as something that only Roman Catholics or high church Episcopalians do, there has been a move among Protestant churches, including United Methodists, to recover these more multisensory ways of worship. 

When Did United Methodists Start the “Imposition of Ashes” on Ash Wednesday? »

What Should We Do About Singing “Alleluia” During Lent?

Article

There is a practice in some denominations of avoiding the use of "Alleluia" in liturgy and music during Lent. This is sometimes referred to as "burying the Alleluia." There is no official United Methodist rubric or practice, which means that congregations may decide for themselves. 

What Should We Do About Singing “Alleluia” During Lent? »

What Can You Do in Forty Days? The Lenten Journey and Adults

Article

Lent is a time for reflection, self-examination, repentance, and deepening one's relationship with God.

What Can You Do in Forty Days? The Lenten Journey and Adults »

Lent: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!

Article

At its best, Lent offers an invitation to the practice of stillness where, amid the bustle of our days, we can pause to let God take the measure of our lives. 

Lent: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There! »

Chuck Knows Lent

Video

Ever heard, “I’m giving up sweets for Lent”? Why does Lent make people want to give up something? And how do you calculate the 40 days of Lent? Watch and learn from Chuck, Discipleship Ministries's humorous philosopher, knower of church things and star of the weekly online series, Chuck Knows Church.

Chuck Knows Lent »

Chuck Knows Shrove Tuesday

Video

Ever wonder why there's almost always a pancake breakfast at church some time before Easter? Well, stick with Chuck because no matter if you call it - Shrove or Fat Tuesday - you'll learn about it with a smile from Discipleship Ministries's humorous philospher, knower of church things and star of Chuck Knows Church.

Chuck Knows Shrove Tuesday »

Chuck Knows Ash Wednesday

Video

Ever seen a little smudge mark on someone's forehead as they walk out of church? That's a sign of the cross, and it means it's Ash Wednesday during Lent. Chuck, Discipleship Ministries's humorous philosopher and knower of church things, tells you about this important worship service in this episode from the series Chuck Knows Church.

Chuck Knows Ash Wednesday »

Father, Forgive Them

Article

This new hymn incorporates all of the Seven Last Words of Jesus from the cross, set to a familiar tune. It is especially appropriate for Good Friday, Lent, and Holy Week.  

Father, Forgive Them »