Every year, Lent comes as a fresh opportunity to start again with God. Check out our brand new Light up Life! Week of Accompanied Prayer, and change your life forever. The rest of our Lenten resources are organised according to how much time you have. 5 mins a day? Check out a video on our online prayer course, or find the space for a daily snippet of Scripture. 15 mins or more? Sign up for the Jesuit daily retreat, or walk 10,000 steps for Cafod. One evening a week? Join a reflection group, such as Sr Hycinthe and the Dominican sisters as they explore Reconciliation: Anchoring you in happiness. If you have a whole day or even a weekend, perhaps take the time for a retreat. Have a look through our resources, and find one that will give you a challenge through the holy weeks of Lent.
Activities marked with ** will work well for families.
Preparing for Lent
Before we start carving out time for prayer and reflection through Lent, there are ways that we can live Lent 24/7. The Church gives us ancient practices of fasting, alms giving and penance. Go meat free (on Fridays if not the whole time) and give Lent a different flavour to the rest of the year. Create a Lenten prayer space somewhere in your home. Give alms generously – find a new charity that makes your heart sing, but don’t forget your local parish! Change your environment – maybe bring some religious images into prominence, or fast from fresh flowers. The deeper our Lenten observance, the more heart-felt our Easter celebration will be.
Don’t give anything up for Lent! A great challenge from Fr Casey, Franciscan friar
*Create a Lenten prayer space in your home https://www.buildfaith.org/creating-lenten-prayer-space-home/*
Limit your anxiety with a social media fast this Lent.
Cook something new! Discover new meat-free and traditional Lenten recipes.
Read Ascension Press’s excellent guide on how to confess like an adult
Light up Lent: A Life-Changing Opportunity 23rd February – 2nd March
This week is a wonderful opportunity to have an experience of a retreat in everyday life. Begin or deepen your prayer life; get to know the scriptures in a more personal way; and above all to grow in faith and in love for the Lord who loves you. With one-to-one support, via Zoom, from an experienced prayer guide.
Choosing a Lenten Practice
5 minutes a day
Watch a video or read a snippet from our diocesan 6 week prayer course: Pathways of Prayer. If you’ve never quite managed to get a regular prayer habit, or would like to go deeper in prayer, this Lent could be the opportunity for you. Can be self-guided, or would be perfect as a parish reflection group.
Dynamic Catholic have fantastic resources suitable for sharing with someone who hasn’t returned to Mass or who has stepped away from their faith for a while.
Receive a “daily jolt and micro challenge” from the Busted Halo crew
Receive a daily reflection from Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire ministries
*Listen to some music:*
15 minutes or more
The London Jesuit Centre is offering a retreat in daily life with the opportunity to meet weekly with a spiritual director through Lent.
Why Believe? Defending and Explaining the Faith – taking a hard look at some of the most difficult questions that are asked of the Christian faith, so as to think about it more clearly, explain it more persuasively and defend it more effectively. Another weekly course from the London Jesuit Centre
Read something new: a whole selection of excellent titles from the Daughters of St Paul
Go deeper in your spiritual life with the GodCalls resource from the National Office for Vocation
*Prayer and reflection resources about Lent and much more from Missio.*
Listen to something
Pray as you go – daily reflections, mini audio retreats, the rosary and much more. Worth digging around behind the ‘explore’ button.
If you got a lot out of Fr Mike Schmitz’s Read the Bible in a Year podcasts, you’ll love his new series which will take us through the Catechism step by step. A wonderful primer of the riches of our faith.
The Way of the Cross: Praying the Psalms with Jesus: free Audio from Ascension Press. Experience the way of the cross as you never have before. Rather than meditating about Christ’s journey to the cross, pray with him.
Walk with Jesus along the Stations of the Cross: choose a contemporary video version, Saint Pope John Paul II’s Scriptural Stations, or read Fr Denis McBride’s beautiful reflections, *Here are printable stations of the cross for children.*
*Resurrection Eggs – a wonderful way of exploring the Easter story with children* http://lifeyourway.net/diy-ressurection-eggs-easter-story-book-printables/
*Support Cafod, get fit and put yourself in someone else’s shoes with the Cafod Walk Against Hunger Can you walk 200k in 40 days?*
*Join the Busted Halo Lent Insta challenge” Share a photo a day on topics such as Ashes, Community and Old Friends*
If you want to get stuck in with a social action project this Lent, get in touch with Caritas Northampton, and find a range of projects at the national Caritas website https://www.csan.org.uk/guidance/
*Wonderful printable colouring sheets for children and adults alike – not free, but worth it.* Available as a church pack to be distributed to all the families in a congregation.
One evening a week
Reconciliation – Anchoring you in Happiness 6 Lenten sessions with the Dominican sisters to discover the Sacrament of Confession and the vocation of the human person, through Scripture, artworks and the Liturgy.
No Greater Love – a special set of session for Lent accompanying Jesus through his passion, death and resurrection from the people behind Bible Timeline
Try the Echoes of God course written by David McLoughlin and produced by the God Who Speaks campaign. Explore how the Old and New Testaments echo each other in their preparation for, and arrival of, Jesus.
Follow the Compass: Vatican II for Everyone What was the Second Vatican Council, and what impact does it have on the practice of our Catholic Faith today? Six monthly sessions with the Dominican sisters as we explore the main documents of Vatican II and their teachings in an accessible and practical way.
A whole day (or even a weekend)
The London Jesuit Centre are offering 2 Saturday retreats, one online and one in person.
A range of day and weekend retreats with lovely themes for Lent from the Sisters of the Christian Retreat.
A Lenten in-person retreat in the beautiful setting of Worth Abbey.