The March 24 edition of The Living Church is available online to registered subscribers.

In the cover essay for this edition, Bishop Daniel H. Martins writes about Lenten disciplines:

Most Christians who keep Lent at all associate it with a montage of images, texts, and practices: some discipline of abstinence or self-denial, a weekly soup supper in the parish hall, a more subdued tone in Sunday worship, more attention paid to the suffering and death of Christ.

This is all meet and right, entirely wholesome, and to be commended. It is a rich spiritual harvest. But if we attend with just a small measure of extra care to the warp and woof of the season, if we interrogate Lent with just a bit of curiosity, expecting to see the unexpected, the harvest is even richer. Lent reveals itself to have a shape, a vector. It is configured to something. From the outside, it appears to be a relatively simple monolith. From the inside, it is a complex warren, laden with nutrition for the Christian soul.

Right at the outset, the liturgy for Ash Wednesday slaps us in the face, not just once, but twice. First, we are reminded of our mortality, with the sobering words uttered as ashes are imposed: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Then, while we are still trying to confront the inevitability of our death, we find ourselves peering into our sinfulness, forced to remember things we would just as soon forget. In the 1979 prayer book rite, the Litany of Penitence covers the bases toward this end amazingly well, and then Psalm 51 drives the point home with devastating clarity.

News

  • A Church Acquires a Seminary

Annual Honors

  • 2018 Living Church Donors

Features

  • The Shape of Lent | By Daniel Martins

Cultures

  • Broken | Review by Douglas LeBlanc

Books

  • National Prayers: Special Worship since the Reformation
    Review by Calvin Lane
  • The Abiding Presence
    Review by Isabelle Hamley
  • Catholicism and Citizenship
    Review by Neil Dhingra
  • Divine Remaking
    Review by Aaron Canty

Other Departments

  • People & Places
  • Sunday’s Readings

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