Next Wednesday is [Ash Wednesday] which will usher in the Lenten Season.  Maybe you already knew that.  If not, now you do. . . . .    

Anyway, in past years we’ve encouraged each other [we, as in our immediate family] to give something up.  One year my husband gave up driving and I gave up vanity [jewelry, make up, etc.].  We’ve fasted from food at times.  We’ve done other things.  

This year I’ve decided to conduct my own {Lenten Experiment}.  I call it experiment because I’ve not done something like this in the past.  And I’m not completely sure how it will go.  I might decide it’s ridiculous half way through.  But hey, 40 days isn’t that long.  So, I’m committing to it.  And now I’ve recorded it in the blogosphere, so there’s no going back.

My experiment will consist of participating in lenten activities at Christ Church Cathedral.  Our family attended one of their Christmas Eve services.  Why this choice?  Why would a person not really familiar with liturgical, traditional church do this?  Why would someone who recently proclaimed the joys of [modern] church want to give so much effort to something so, so opposite?  Well, for a number of reasons.  Some of them being these:

  • My word for the year is RISK, and walking into a new situation like this seems risky.  I don’t know anyone there.  They don’t know me.  I’m not familiar with their ways, their traditions, their habits.  I’ll be the outsider.  I’ve been fairly comfortable in church for a long while.
  • I long for something different.  While I enjoy the church we’re currently attending, I’m drawn to try another type of worship.  I like modern worship music.  I’ve participated in modern worship music on stage.  I’m alright with dark auditoriums and lights and pastors wearing jeans.  Though it struck me after the above mentioned Christmas Eve service how really all we’d done there was sing, pray and read scripture.  While I’m unsure as to whether that’s all they’ll do at the services I’ll attend during the next 40 days, I’m hopeful those will be the major aspects.  I’ve grown tired, oh so tired, of church not being all that much different than anything else we do.  Maybe I’m getting old.  Maybe I’m jaded from past experiences.  But sitting in a cathedral sounds enticing.  Sitting in a room that actually looks like a church appeals to me.  A place where you could place just about any American, and by looking around they’d know they’re in a church.  Not in a building that’s also a gym and a place where dinner can be served and a concert venue for a pseudo rock show.  
  • If I don’t try something new, I’ll never change.  And I need to change.grow.become.
  • I desire quiet.   I want to listen.  

So, whether the {Lenten Experiment} is positive or negative or neutral for me, it will be a change.  It will cause me to reflect and evaluate and most likely, grow. If you know me and you fear I’ll become a liberal Episcopalian, I most likely won’t.  I’m not looking to add another [label] or join a denomination.   

I will invite my husband and children to participate.  If they don’t want to, or only want to sometimes, that’s fine.  I won’t pressure or nag.  At least no more than I normally do.  

I’ve added myself to the Christ Church email list.  I’ve received their Ash Wednesday schedule.  I even called their office with a question about times.  I’m in this.  Happy Lent!

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