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Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Extra: Lenten Practices

My dad does lapidary work--shaping and polishing stones--as a hobby. (We made sure he had hobby equipment when he retired a few years ago.) So I have an array of cross necklaces set with agate, petrified wood, sodalite, malachite, parrot wing. Even the names of the stones are beautiful.

As a Mennonite pastor, I don't wear a collar or a robe or a stole. These necklaces from my dad have become my liturgical mantle. I enjoy choosing one each Sunday morning. Which one matches my clothing? Which matches my mood? Is it a Sunday for a big cross or a smaller cross?

But during Lent, I wear an old wooden cross with a worn cord. Every Sunday. Whatever I'm wearing. Whatever my mood. It's the wooden cross.

This is not a big thing. And it is not my only thing. But it is one way that I try to set this time apart. To make things a little bit less about me. A little bit more about God. For just a little while.

What about you? What Lenten habits ground you? What disciplines have you accepted for this season?


  1. Your post made me think of my practice of wearing a cross every day last year during lent. I wrote about it here.

    This year, among other things, I am posting a prayer or prayerful reading that I either write or find, each day on the church website. It is a good practice for me, but already--6 days in--I have wondered why I said Every Day! Today's prayerful reading is Hopkins' "God's Grandeur," a poem the pastor read in her sermon yesterday.

  2. Amen! Love the practices that are involved with Lent! Can't wait to hear what God reveals to you during your prayer time.

  3. I just saw the musical Godspell again and during the intermission they handed out red band bracelets (like others that are so popular) These had been worn by the Jesus character for the blood at his wrists/hands when crucified. I've decided to wear mine throughout lent this year.

  4. After many years of adding a spiritual practice during Lent, this year I've given something up. Specifically, I have given up eating in restaurants in order to have a little more to spare for those who have so much less. As a result, in one brief week I have shared a couple of delightful lunches with friends who were willing to bag it with me and I am looking forward to the rest of the fast to see what other hidden treasures will arrive.

  5. I seem to have been enrolled in a fast from the Internet -- or at least from the's an awful nuisance but not, on the whole, such a bad thing...


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