Here is a hodgepodge list of resources, ideas, and books I will use during Lent. There are so many good Lenten devotion books on the market, I chose two because I like the authors and trust their work.
1.Paraclete asked me to make an audio podcast about ways to use Praying in Color during Lent. The podcast has suggestions for both groups and individuals. Click here to listen.
2. Between Midnight and Dawn: A Literary Guide to Prayer During Lent, and Eastertide is a guide to prayer and inspiration for Lent by Sarah Arthur. Sarah has compiled both contemporary and classical poetry and literary writings to probe the depths of Lent. She suggests a daily outline of devotion with prayers, Scripture readings, literary readings, reflection time, and a closing prayer. The writings she has chosen are not lightweight snacks but hearty meals that require gnawing, chewing, swallowing, and digesting over many days.
3. A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent by Walter Brueggemann is a daily devotional inviting us to an unpredictable journey: “But women and men of faith are always on the road again, departing safe places, running risks, and hoping for well-being on the journey.”
4. Using a Lenten Calendar Template–I think I have mentioned this a time or two before–is a favorite way to travel the 40 days of Lent. You can download them from the Handouts Page or the post on February 15.
5. Someone sent me a copy of Coloring Lent: An Adult Coloring Book for the Journey to Resurrection by Christopher D. Rodkey, Jesse & Natalie Turri (Chalice Press). This is a pictorial, verbal, and theological journey through death, resurrection, and transformation. The image of “Cloud” is a repeated theme in the writing and coloring templates. I like the coloring pages and the short, unique commentary with references to Scripture passages. The drawings are not too detailed or complicated. There is lots space for brainstorming words or adding my own doodles (which I love to do). My husband looked at it and said, “These are coloring pages I would actually enjoy.They are not too overwhelming or intricate.” Another plus is the pages are not two-sided, so colored pencils and markers will not cover another drawing or text. Since I like to use markers, I would insert a sheet of paper between pages when I colored.
6. I have learned a new chant to sing for myself and to share with workshop/retreat participants during Lent. It’s called Lay Me Low and uses words from an old Shaker hymn with a new tune by Daniel Schwandt. A YouTube video of Lay Me Low from Music That Makes Community teaches the song. Music That Makes Community is a group of people who love to sing and lead songs in a new “paperless” tradition. No sheet music necessary. The songs are mostly simple and invite improvisation and harmonization.
7. If you want to work on a variety of prayer forms with the option to color, consider one of the many Paraclete Press coloring books. My coloring book and guide to prayer called Pray and Color has about 30 coloring pages and explanations of 14 different ways to pray using them. One of the described ways to use the pages during Lent is for Prayers of Confession or Regret. Below are two templates designed with these prayers in mind.
Thank you so much for all these ways into Lent. I am offering folk in the parishes here (5 rural parishes north of Oxford, UK) different ways of colouring using the calendars. And personally I have found the song a great anchor and way into prayer. Have also taught it during worship. Thank you!