Bless This Mess Lenten Calendar
Each week leading up to Easter has its own set of illustrated cards from the SALT Project: each Sunday outlines a simple candlelight service, including a Lenten confession, words from scripture, a bite-sized meditation, and a little blessing; and each week’s other cards feature simple, engaging daily practices to try as we travel the road to the empty tomb. Forty cards in all (including one for Ash Wednesday)!
IDEAS FOR ENJOYING THE CALENDAR:
1. Put each weekly set of cards into a numbered envelope, and open one set per week until Easter Sunday
2. Display the cards in a circle around your tealights and Christ candle.
3. Pin each card onto a large, fabric-covered canvas, and place a tiny Easter decoration on each card as you go along. Or string them up on a long piece of twine, like prayer flags, and take them down as the weeks go by.
Each time you cross your threshold, say a prayer of gratitude for 3 things inside your home and 3 things out in the world.
from The Right Reverend Richard Bott, Moderator of the United Church of Canada
as I prepare to go into the world,
help me to see the sacrament
in the wearing of this cloth –
let it be “an outward sign
of an inward grace” –
a tangible and visible way
of living love for my neighbours,
as I love myself.
since my lips will be covered,
uncover my heart,
that people would see my smile
in the crinkles around my eyes.
Since my voice may be muffled,
help me to speak clearly,
not only with my words,
but with my actions.
as the elastic touches my ears,
remind me to listen carefully –
and full of care –
to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth
be shield and banner,
and each breath that it holds,
be filled with your love.
In your Name and in that love, I pray.
May it be so.
May it be so.
First, pray for yourself: "May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be free from fear. May I live in peace." You can change the adjectives; keep them compassionate.
Next, pray the same phrases for those you love: "May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be free from fear. May you live in peace." Then pray in a sequence of expansion for your friends, your neighbors - you may want to walk as you pray! - people you don't know, then those you have difficulty with, and ultimately for all of creation.
This prayer or meditation comes to us from Buddhist circles, but has been used by people of all faiths to expand their hearts. It is also called a Loving-Kindness Meditation or an Agape Prayer. You can learn more about this traditional Buddhist practice by googling "metta meditation." Some resources we found are:
Here is a way to calm a busy mind - it also works great to calm a busy child! - and focus your thoughts on the beauty of God's creation. Go outside, get still, and focus on what you're sensing.
Notice five things you can see.
Then four that you can feel.
Three that you can hear.
Two you can smell.
One you can taste.
Say a prayer of gratitude to our Creator.