Kathrynzj at Revgalsblogpals shares this thoughtful and timely Friday Five idea.
She writes that during Lent, "My calendar taunts me with the schedule I'm supposedly going to keep. There are extra Bible studies, evening gatherings and worship services all crammed into a six week period of reflection and contemplation (ha!). But there are some things I truly love about the season of Lent even if I don't get in as much reflection and contemplation as I would like.
What about you? What are some things you appreciate about the season of Lent? Perhaps you would share 5 of them with us. And for your bonus question feel free to share one thing you could do without."
1. Any excuse to sing, even though some of the songs during Lent are kind of sad. And of course, there's nothing like singing Holden Evening Prayer, if that's part of your Lenten worship.
2. A deliberate attempt to reflect, to be monk-ish, perhaps, reading, and writing and thinking deep thoughts. I do all the time, but I feel like I have permission to do this during Lent.
3. Special Holy Week Services, especially Passion Sunday, especially when it includes a real live donkey, and Good Friday Services. I like how worship during this time often becomes more dramatic.
4. Not so many cultural add-ons (like Santa Claus, the candy cane, shopping for presents, going to parties). No Lenten Parties yet, that I have heard of.
5. Fasting in order to pay attention to other things: feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, discovering what really feeds me, and the world, coming face to face with my illusions.
oh, and I like it when there's an extra Bible study, or discussion group, actually. I had a great discussion group one Lent. We had a study of the Lord's prayer every week, and closed the study by going into the sanctuary and singing Holden Evening Prayer. Very simple. No sermon to prepare. But a lot of work putting together the discussion each week.
And, what I don't like?
1. How busy it gets, sometimes. It seems like there is often more pastoral care during Lent. So I've had all the services and then maybe two funerals in one week, sometimes.
2. Fasting to Become A Better Person. Doesn't work for me.