The above chart gives a good overview of the different ways of counting Lent and Easter. You are welcome (encouraged) to reproduce it – but please have the courtesy of acknowledgement and, if online, put a clickable link to this site.
Collect for Lent 1
Let us pray (in silence) [to follow Christ more closely]
God of the desert,
Jesus was led by the Spirit
to fast forty days in the wilderness
and was tempted as we are, yet without sin;
give us grace to observe the disciplines of Lent;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
who is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
Sadly (and surprisingly), on the First Sunday in Lent, a day that so many churches and denominations celebrate the same event with the same readings, we do not have a shared collect. My collect attempts to draw from several different ones into a coherent whole.
Here is my commentary for this collect for Lent 1.
Resources for Lent
For those who missed my recent sharing of Lent resources, here they are again:
Ash Wednesday Collect
Let us pray (in silence) [for grace to keep Lent faithfully.]
Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and 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 receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Ash Wednesday is a solemn focusing on sin, repentance, and our need for forgiveness. Most tend to underplay sin nowadays (and, yes, that’s in reaction to its over-stressing in the past), but Ash Wednesday is a reminder of its dreadful reality. The tone of the collect is, hence, appropriate. Obviously we cease using the collect that we used daily from Sunday, and use this one from Ash Wednesday until first evening prayer of Sunday Lent 1. After that, if you want to use it throughout Lent, don’t have two collects following each other – this collect can be used to conclude the Prayers of the People (or even as the Prayer after Communion).
Here is my commentary for this collect for Ash Wednesday.
What is Lent?
NB. The “Glory to God in the highest” is not used in the Eucharist. The word “Alleluia” is not used at all. There are no flowers in church during Lent.
Lent candle ritual
Lenten preparation (catechumenate)
receiving the Lord’s Prayer (catechumenate)
receiving the creed (catechumenate)
enrolment for baptism (catechumenate)
Resources off this Site
My friend, Fr John O’Connor, will be offering online reflections daily during Lent.
If you have a Lent resource to share, please add it in the comments. It is also worthwhile to check the comments of the recent post.