Welcome to Lent

Here you will find prayers and reflections for the season of Lent, including original responsive prayers for use in worship services. I hope you find something to draw you deeper into this holy season.
Note that in all responsive prayers, the Leader's words are shown in plain text, and the People's response in bold italic.

In Silence

Praying HandsResponsive prayers by Thomas Robb, appropriate for use in Advent or Lent, or anytime that calls for silent prayer. 

More about responsive prayer.

 

In silence, or aloud, give thanks to God for all that we have… all that we are… all that we may become – be it broken, or complete, or somehow, both.

(Silence)

[Read more…]

I Also Am Mortal

Left Baby FootI also am mortal, like everyone else,
a descendant of the first-formed child of earth;

and in the womb of a mother I was molded into flesh,
within the period of ten months, compacted with blood,
from the seed of a man and the pleasure of marriage.
And when I was born, I began to breathe the common air,
and fell upon the kindred earth;
my first sound was a cry, as is true of all.

— Wisdom of Solomon 7:1-5

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Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.

— Emily Dickinson

We invite you to spend time in contemplation with these words from wise ones. Then join in the conversation with your own poetic response.

Read passages with haiku responses

Ashes, Ashes, All Fall Down…

Elizabeth A. Bloch

A Homily for Ash Wednesday

by
Elizabeth A. Bloch

Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras – a time to remember and celebrate the reality that we are so much more complicated than we like to think we are.

Ash Wednesday – a time to remember and celebrate the reality that we are so much simpler than we like to think we are. [Read more…]

For Where Your Treasure Is, There Your Heart Will Be Also

Ash Wednesday CrossFor Where Your Treasure Is,
There Your Heart Will Be Also

A Homily for Ash Wednesday

by
Margaret D. McGee

The Ash Wednesday Gospel reading comes about midway through the great set of teachings commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus, seeing the crowds following him, goes up to the mountainside and sits down to share with them his vision of what makes a good life. [Read more…]

Mortality

A Homily for Ash Wednesday

by
Margaret D. McGee

Ash WednesdayClick here to listen to Margaret deliver this sermon at St. Paul’s.

Click here to listen to the readings for Ash Wednesday.

Greetings, fellow mortals.

We are creatures, you and I. Created beings, living through time.

[Read more…]

Prayers to God of Every Time and Place

Responsive prayers by Brad Offutt, appropriate for use during Lent.

God of every time and place, help all who in their journey, step by step, come to worship you in spirit and in truth. [Read more…]

From Ash Wednesday to Easter and Beyond – A Poem by William Maxwell

From Ash Wednesday to Easter and Beyond

by William Maxwell

Remember
that you are made of dust
and you will return to dust.
Remember too
that we are made in the image of God – [Read more…]

Prayers and Blessings for the Stumbling Path

On February 6, 2010, I met with five other women at St. Placid Priory in Lacey, Washington, for a retreat called “Stumbling Toward God.” At the close of the day, we joined together in a brief worship service, each of us offering a prayer or blessing for our time together.

Here are our prayers and blessings, [Read more…]

Prayers With Lenten Hope

Praying TogetherResponsive Prayers by Tom Robb, for use on the first Sunday of Lent.

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With Lenten prayer and Lenten hope the Spirit beckons us on toward Jerusalem.
In Moses’ dusty footsteps we follow Jesus into the howling wilderness – comfort only a memory.

[Read more…]

Letting Go, and Letting Go

Swordfern – Letting go of winter

It’s Lent, and I find myself in a process of letting go, and letting go.

David and I are preparing two plots of our wooded acreage for spring sale. We’ll use the proceeds to build our cottage in town.

I’m ready and eager for the move to town, so my mind wants to fuss about how long it could take for all the dominoes to fall.

Dear mind, I tell the fussy critter, you just have to let that go. 

[Read more…]

Shrove Tuesday – A Poem by Christine Hemp

Shrove Tuesday 

by Christine Hemp

Southerly gusts clocked up to fifty. Douglas firs like frenzied horses
charged through the dark and back again.

Inside, the fire crackled—wind drew heaven close, and we could feel
the horses’ breath. [Read more…]