Ash Wednesday: Lenten Resources

Today is the beginning of the lenten season.

This morning I began Lent with the morning prayer for today from this spiritual resource:

It’s not a prayer book I have used a great deal. But sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a little. You can find it here if you’re interested.

One of the Scriptures from this prayer book for the morning office is Hebrews 9:1-14. Here are a few verses from that passage:

But Christ has appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), he entered the most holy place once for all time, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we can serve the living God?

Hebrews 9:11-14

Lent, of course, is the season where we accompany Christ on the journey to the cross and eventually the empty tomb.

Another wonderful resource are the ones in the Ancient Christian Devotional series. There are three of these as far as I know. I have the first one (based on Lectionary Cycle A):

We also have a copy of this series by Canadian songwriter Steve Bell, which you can find here. You can buy them as a boxset or individually.

Speaking of songwriters, you might want to check out Liturgical Folk. Much of their music is based on the Scriptures and ancient liturgical texts from The Book of Common Prayer. They recently released an album of songs based on various Psalms. You can find them here.

My wife and I have been making regular use recently of the online version of the The Book of Common Prayer (2019 edition). You can find it here if you are interested. You can adjust the settings to suit your own needs. But we have also ordered a “hard copy” for each of us because we’d rather not always be tied to a laptop or smartphone in order to make use of this great spiritual resource. If that interests you, you can find them here. They look like this:

Now, you might wonder why a Baptist pastor (and his wife) might be interested in spiritual resources that come from more high-church (sometimes called “liturgical”) traditions. I have a couple of reasons. First, it provides a structure and rhythm to my devotions and worship. Second, it gives me rich, biblical, and historical language for prayer and worship that I would never have, left to myself. As one example, below is the collect for today that pertains specifically to Ash Wednesday. So may our Lord and God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you during this lenten season, whatever your circumstances.

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer (2019)

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