Giving up and adding up during Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40-day Lenten period.

During Lent it is traditional to give up or let go of something (or several things) that we like a lot and find pleasure in. We will ask and hear the familiar question: “What are you giving up for Lent?”

The most common thing people do during Lent is to fast. Some may chose to go 40 days without, television, impulse buying or judging others.

But Lent is not just about giving up something. It is also about “adding up” something or some things to our daily lives and to the lives of others. We may commit ourselves to extra prayer and meditation time or we may decide to volunteer our time in our different communities once a week during Lent.

Some diocese and parishes might chose to hold mid-week suppers and Bible studies, offer healing services or coordinate events to raise money for charity.

For the second year, General Synod’s Partners in Mission department and Anglican Appeal have produced a Lenten calendar, titled Walking through Lent with our Partners.

The 40-day calendar provides brief information on different projects run by both international and national partners that are supported by the Anglican Church of Canada through the Anglican Appeal.

“It is meant to express our solidarity and show the diversity of all the work done by our partners that we support,” said Stephanie Peddle, Anglican Appeal coordinator. “It also reinforces the work between Partners in Mission and the Anglican Appeal,” she added.

The calendar has been sent to some dioceses and parishes, “Since this is still a pilot project that we are running, we target at least three dioceses at a time,” said Ms. Peddle. “Other dioceses and parishes who wish to get the copies can request them.” Besides the Lenten calendar, the two departments also produce the Advent calendar.

This year the Lenten calendar was sent to the dioceses of Edmonton, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and Huron.

Last year it went to Fredericton, British Columbia and to the Anglican parishes of the Central Interior. The Advent calendar was sent to the dioceses of New Westminster, Ottawa and Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador.

The daily meditations, photos and stories from the calendar will be available on the website for people to “walk through Lent with our partners,” said Ms. Peddle.

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