Love, Joy, Peace...
Pastor's Lenten Letter

Resources for keeping Lent 2024

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Foley, AL

Now, let us all with one accord, in company with ages past.

Keep vigil with our heavenly Lord in his temptation and his fast. (Hymnal #147)


Lent begins on Wednesday, February 14th.

During the forty days of Lent we join Jesus in his forty days of fasting and praying in the wilderness. During Lent we examine our lives to see where there are things keeping us from living fully the life that God wants for us. Through this self-examination and repentance we prepare ourselves to celebrate the great mystery of the resurrection at Easter.

Lent begins with the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 14th. The ashes are an outward and visible sign of our penitence and an affirmation of our mortal nature. Services at St. Paul’s will be at noon and 6:00 pm. The Book of Common Prayer (p. 265) offers some suggestions about how to keep Lent. These include: prayer, fasting, self-denial, and reading God’s Word.



During Lent St. Paul’s will offer a service of contemplative Taizé evening prayer each Wednesday at 6:00 pm in the Chapel. (A simple soup supper will be offered at 5:30 pm.) On Thursdays at 10:00 am we will be in the Chapel again for prayers using the Anglican Rosary. If you do not already pray the Daily Office Lent would be a good time to see if it would be a healthy spiritual discipline for you. An easy to follow online version can be found at: .


Last year during Lent we did an art and prayer exercise that led to creating the Stations of the Cross that now hang in the nave of the Church. A booklet has been made using photographs of the Stations. These Stations booklets can be used at home or in the Church as part of Lenten devotions.


St. Paul’s also has a new labyrinth located behind the old Rectory. Walking a labyrinth is an ancient form of prayer. A brochure with information about the labyrinth and how to use it is available with the other Lenten resources in the Narthex and Parish Hall.



Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the two fasting days in the calendar of the Episcopal Church (Book of Common Prayer p. 17). In our tradition that means two very small meals and one full but simple meatless meal for those between the ages of 17 and 65 who are in good health. Those who do not choose their own food, and those who do manual labor are exempt. But, they should find some other meaningful way to observe the fast.


All of the weekdays of Lent are to be observed by “special acts of discipline and self-denial.” Giving up something for Lent is not an effort to win God’s favor or to prove devotion but rather that the abstaining/giving up/or taking on, helps keep us focused on the meaning and purpose of the season. The fasting and abstinence of Lent is to keep us engaged in the work of spiritual renewal. Monies not spent on the things we have “given up” are traditionally collected in mite boxes. Those boxes are available in the Narthex and Parish Hall.



Reading the scriptures during Lent is a long standing tradition. Schedules of daily readings from the Gospel According to Mark are available in the Narthex and in the Parish Hall and also on our web page. Lent is also a time for reading books on spiritual themes. Authors such as C.S. Lewis and Richard Rohr are excellent choices. I would be glad to offer recommendations if you want help finding a book. 


And also,

Lent is also a good time to make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) as found in the Book of Common Prayer (p. 447 ff). Confessions are available by appointment.


In recent years many churches and individuals have found that movies can be a good source of spiritual exploration. You might consider setting up a regular weekly movie watching date with others and then have a discussion about the theology offered in the movie. Along with the mite boxes, and Gospel According to Mark reading schedule, a brochure about the use of labyrinths, a list of suggested movies and discussion questions can be found in the Narthex and Parish Hall.


To keep Lent takes discipline and commitment. It is my experience that keeping the season of Lent is one of the most effective ways to grow one’s faith. I invite you to the observance of a holy Lent.


Peace and blessings,

Pastor Brent

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Foley AL
506 N. Pine Street, Foley, AL 36535
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