Tonight it is Mardi Gras and many pancakes will be consumed, for tomorrow we fast. (My favourite is still lemon and sugar, how about you?) Tomorrow we will be marked with an ash cross and Lent will begin.
For a few years now I have given up reading fiction in Lent and I intend to keep this again. I have a pile of non-fiction books, mainly theology but not exclusively, waiting to be read. It is too easy to forgo these for a good whodunnit, so Lent is a good time to do some real meaty study. (Hehe.)
I have put on so much weight since stopping smoking (3 months yesterday, thank you very much) that I am tempted to use Lent as a time to cut out all the baddies in my diet. But I hate that whole Theology of Weightwatchers. I’m quite sure it is not what Our Lord had in mind when he spoke about fasting. “Ruth, thou shalt cut out all those maltesers because you and I know they do not really have a less-fattening centre!” So I need to think of another way of working my way through that one.
I note that a good number of folk are giving up Facebook, Twitter and/or blogging during Lent. This is I would struggle with. But isn’t that the point, Ruth? No, I mean that I would lose so many resources that help me during Lent. So I am keeping my eyes firmly peeled on all that Google etc has to offer.
And what about taking something on? Well I will be doing some serious reading. And we shall have our Lent Group on Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm using Henri Nouwen’s book The Return of the Prodigal Son. We shall also be saying Morning Prayer together each day at 9.30am – and I can’t tell you how excited I am about that. For I HATE saying the Offices alone. Even if one person turns up my day is made. On Sundays at 7pm we shall say Compline together followed by Hot Chocolate. Hot Choc in Lent? Yes! For it is Sunday!
Then there is Lent online. You can check out the Pisky thing over at Beauty from Chaos each day. You can give up busyness for Lent over here. And I’ve read a dozen more but sadly they have all escaped my busy brain. Please comment any more if you know of them.
Oh and Fr Simon has free Lent texts as ever. Check him out too.
Sometimes you come across an idea which is so impressive you wonder why it hasn’t been thought of before. Collins’ Holy Bible Anglicized NRSV with daily readings and prayers from the CofE’s Common Worship is one of those. Well, almost. Who wouldn’t want a bible combined with the Daily Offices all in one book? A great idea which could have been greater if there were just a few amendments.
Firstly, the good points.
- The idea for a start – combining a bible, lectionary and Daily Offices in one book is a great idea. Especially for those who want to take it travelling. Who wants to lug around 3 books when one will do?
- The font and type size are excellent and clear. Nice use of bold text (sans serif) for chapter headings and verse numbers. There are also a few footnotes for reference and a centre column for links.
- There are 2 ribbon markers (white and blue) to match the navy cover.
- The Offices are at the back of the bible and are written out in a daily format (Sun – Sat) so you don’t need to jump back and forth. I think a similar font and layout to Common Worship is used – sans serif in black and red.
- The price at Amazon is pretty good – 45% off the retail price of £30 at the moment.
- The cover is navy with lots of little crosses etched into it, with the title on the spine also etched. It also comes in a presentation box.
Could do better:
- Amazon says it is hardcover and it is not. It is navy vinyl (faux leather I think they call it) and very floppy. But it looks like it should last and is wipe-clean at least.
- Another 2 ribbon markers would have been much more sensible when you have 2 daily readings plus the Office and the Lectionary to find.
- The bible has no Apocrypha but then the Lectionary doesn’t use those books either.
- The Offices do not include Morning and Evening Prayer although Amazon advertise it as having Daily Prayer. Instead it is adapted from Time to Pray and is Prayer During the Day – a sort of shorter service – and Compline. I suppose if you are travelling it would be a good length (like the little Franciscan CCP pocket version).
- The Lectionary (Additional Weekday Lectionary) runs from 2010 to 2020 and after that you’re on your own. I’m afraid this bear with a small brain didn’t understand the format for years after 2011 but perhaps someone from the CofE can explain it to me.