Lenten Spiritual Formation 2023

February 14th, 2023 | Community Updates

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023 this year. Which means it’s time to think about how you will be observing this season of penitence, fasting, prayer, generosity, confession, and repentance. Here are some resources to help us observe a fruitful Lent together as a community.

Lent is based on the Christian liturgical calendar and takes place between Ash Wednesday and Easter (April 9). It is time of spiritual formation and preparation as we look ahead to Easter, and it acts as an acknowledgment of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness before beginning his public ministry. Lent is a season marked by repentance, confession, reflection, fasting, prayer, generosity, growth, and spiritual preparation for Easter.

What To Do During Lent

In addition to participating in community prayer and worship, Lent is also a time for people to engage in three specific disciplines:

  1. Fasting (intentional abstaining from food or other kinds of consumption for the purpose of feasting on Jesus)
  2. Prayer (intentionally participating in the life of God, walking with him, listening to him, both in solitude and in community)
  3. Generosity (direct participation in the generosity of God through giving away our resources in love to our neighbor)

Here are a few resources to help you discern how you and your family can participate in Lent:

1. Try the Common Rule

One resource you might want to check out for Lent is something we came across recently called The Common Rule. It’s a collection of 4 daily habits and 4 weekly habits specifically geared to help modern people create a life with enough space for God to shape us in his love.

Download the Common Rule For Lent and talk it over with your family.

2. Bring clothes to donate

We are holding a clothes drive for the Clothesline Program of the West Seattle Food Bank (socks, underwear, gloves, mittens, warm hats, and backpacks). Please drop donations in the giving barrel in the church lobby on Sundays.

3. Pray every morning

Lent is a great time to start or recommit to a regular practice of daily prayer. But, if you’re like most people, it’s hard to know where to start.

During Lent, we encourage everyone to try practicing a Morning Prayer Liturgy from Brian Zahnd. It’s a set of prayers that guides us into a way of relating to God that can facilitate genuine encounter with God and steady formation over time.

There’s still room for intercession about the things that you care about, but it places those things within a larger framework that helps place them in their proper setting. It takes about 30 minutes (or up to an hour, if you add time for contemplative prayer).

Download the Morning Prayer Liturgy and print it out two-sided to create a booklet.

4. Fast

Fasting is one of the most scandalous Lenten disciplines to modern Americans, because we’re immersed in a culture where indulging desire is assumed to be the healthiest thing to do in most situations. So discern your own fast, but remember that Sundays are feast days – it’s like a mini-Easter, even during Lent!

Fasting, Lent, Prayer, Spiritual Formation