Lenten Practice of Lengthening Silence

In our world of constant noise and perpetual motion, moments of silence and stillness are hard to come by.  Yet something deep in our soul yearns for those moments of sacred silence – opportunities for deep and meaningful connections with God.   This Lent, I invite you into the sacred silence.

 Because this is a new practice for many, I suggest that you start small.   Begin with one minute of silence on the first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday) and then simply add one minute a day for the 40 days leading up to Easter (excluding Sundays). Just as the amount of daylight will be lengthening, your sacred silence will be lengthening as well. 

 Try these steps of Centering Prayer to ease you into the sacred silence:

·      Find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted.  Sit comfortably and either close your eyes or gaze at an object in front of you (candle, water, painting, etc.).

·      Begin with a simple opening prayer such as, “Be still and know that I am God.”

·      Choose a sacred word or phrase (Here I am, love, Jesus, hope, God have mercy, etc) to savor in the silence.

·      Set a timer for the number of minutes and put the clock where you cannot see it. (The chart below  can help you keep track of how many minutes each day.)

·      Rest comfortably in the silence.  It is quite natural for distractions to come to mind.  Do not worry.  Remember your sacred word and let the other thoughts drift away.

·      Close with a simple prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer or a favorite scripture. 

·      Journal about your reflections as you have time and interest.

·      If you like technology, the Centering Prayer App is a wonderful way to gently begin and end the silence and help keep track of the minutes as well (be sure to put your cell phone on airplane mode so you won’t be distracted by calls or texts).

 May this practice of lengthening silence throughout the Season of Lent bring you a renewed sense of spiritual vitality in your everyday living! 

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Feb 18 (Ash Wednesday) – 1 minute

Feb 19 – 2 minutes

Feb 20 – 3 minutes

Feb 21 – 4 minutes

Feb 22 – Sunday Sabbath

Feb 23 – 5 minutes

Feb 24 – 6 minutes

Feb 25 – 7 minutes

Feb 26 – 8 minutes

Feb 27 – 9 minutes

Feb 28 – 10 minutes

March 1 – Sunday Sabbath

March 2 – 11 minutes

March 3 – 12 minutes

March 4 – 13 minutes

March 5 – 14 minutes

March 6 – 15 minutes

March 7 – 16 minutes

March 8 – Sunday Sabbath

March 9 – 17 minutes

March 10 – 18 minutes

March 11 – 19 minutes

March 12 – 20 minutes

March 13 – 21 minutes

March 14 – 22 minutes

March 15 – Sunday Sabbath

March 16 – 23 minutes

March 17 – 24 minutes

March 18 – 25 minutes

March 19 – 26 minutes

March 20 – 27 minutes

March 21 – 28 minutes

March 22 – Sunday Sabbath

March 23 – 29 minutes

March 24 – 30 minutes

March 25 – 31 minutes

March 26 – 32 minutes

March 27 – 33 minutes

March 28 – 34 minutes

March 29 – Palm Sunday

March 30 – 35 minutes

March 31 – 36 minutes

April 1 – 37 minutes

April 2 (Holy Thursday) – 38 minutes

April 3 (Good Friday) – 39 minutes

April 4 (Holy Saturday) – 40 minutes

April 5 – Easter Resurrection Celebration