Today is the beginning of Lent, a time of repentance, discipline, and preparation for Good Friday and on through the Easter. Over the years that I have been in the Anglican tradition I have tried (and usually failed) to keep some measure of discipline at this time, either fasting in some way and/or adding additional devotions of some sort.
This year I have decided that I need accountability to aid me in this so I will attempt to post each day a small devotional reading and reflection. I hope that others may find it edifying in their own Lenten practice, but I admit this is rather selfish; I know that unless others are keeping an eye on my I am less likely to be as disciplined as I ought to be. So later today look for the first post in that series. In the meantime below I offer the opening prayer of the Ash Wednesday service from the US BCP.
Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great
devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and
it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a
season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the
observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance;
by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and
meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.
BTW Sundays are feast days so during Lent if, for example, you give up red meat you may have it on “the Lord’s Day.” Took me several years to find that out… So I will not likely post a Lenten devotion on Sundays.