Using a calendar template is one of my favorite ways to keep a daily discipline during Lent. It doesn’t involve making false promises to myself about sitting down for thirty minutes a day and praying/studying/meditating and then feeling guilty when I fail. On the calendar template I choose a word or name for each day, write the word in a space, and draw or doodle around it. As I draw I let the name or word fill my heart and mind. If words come to me I pray them. If not, I am quiet. I think of each mark or stroke of color as a wordless prayer. This process can take three minutes or thirty. Each day is different. I love the accumulation of words or peoples’ names in a visual tapestry.
Below are four templates to choose from in jpg or pdf form. There are 46 spaces which include the weekends. Some calendars are dated; others allow you to choose your own placement. Since the spaces are small I take the template to a copier and enlarge it (129%-132%) to an 11″x17″ piece of card stock.
Here are some ways to use the calendar:
1) Use a daily book of Lenten meditations. Read the mediation for the day and select a word that jumps out at you.
2) Follow a daily lectionary and choose a word from one of the Scripture readings.
3) Pray for a person each day.
4) Use nouns or adjectives that describe the nature and character of Jesus: savior, redeemer, healer, radical, obedient, forgiving,….
5) Read the same Psalm each day and choose a daily word. Psalm 51 is a penitential Psalm with lots of juicy (sometimes depressing) words in it.
6) Use the Confession from the liturgy and choose a word from it. Here is the Confession from The Book of Common Prayer:
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.
7) Just draw. If words come to you in your silence, write them in the space.
Click on .jpg or.pdf below the template you want.* Download the template first, then print. (If you print without downloading, you will get a version with the website info written on the top and bottom of the page.)
*Thanks to Cindy O. (Mostly Markers) for her box calendar template and to Hilary Ann Golden for the spiral template.
Here are some examples of last year’s completed templates:
Thanks to Gwyn Varozza, Linda S. and J., Martin Boardman, and Linda S. and J. for sharing their 2015 calendars.