Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Review -- Advent and Lent

I cannot believe that it is already November. What is harder to believe is that Advent -- you know, that blessedly peaceful time of reflection and preparation -- yea, that Advent -- starts two weeks after this coming Sunday.

It is ok to scream now, but only once. I come bearing help.

I have reviewed an Irish Jesuit website before called Sacred Space. It may be the largest prayer website in the world. The idea behind Sacred Space is to provide a few short ideas to think about and a scripture passage for meditation every day. Millions of people (including lots of non-Catholics) pray there every month. A while ago they started putting out a book with a whole year of their prayers in it. Before that they started posting materials for a one-day, self-directed Lenten retreat. I'm addicted to their Lenten Retreat. I can no longer imagine Good Friday without it.

This year they have done something a little different. At least, I don't recall having seen this before. They have published two small booklets: Sacred Space for Advent and the Christmas Season 2008 -- 2009 (it actually ends the first Sunday in January, Epiphany, as it should -- these Catholics know the Liturgical Calendar). The second is Sacred Space for Lent 2009. The best part? Each one comes with a prepared one-day, self-directed retreat. Yes, that's right. I can now get addicted to a Lenten retreat and an Advent retreat. Oh, and the price? They are $2.25 a piece. I paid as much in shipping from Amazon as the books cost me.

If you aren't familiar with the website the daily prayers are organized into weeks. Each week starts with a kind of introduction which is used each day of that week. That is followed by the Scripture passages for each day of that week.

The retreats come with a suggested timetable starting at 9:30 in the morning and running through 4:00 in the afternoon. (Yes, there is a lunch break -- in fact, there are several breaks planned in.) Each retreat includes a preparatory period, three hour-long prayer periods with scripture and some useful supplemental material; and finally, a review period at the end.

I will use these for myself. I will do both retreats. I am already trying to figure out which Friday in December I can take off from work. I would love to know if any of you find ways to use these in your churches or a small group.

So, take a deep breath. Need devotional materials, retreat materials, something for a small group, a spot of peace for yourself? You're handled -- right up to Easter.

JusticeSeeker
JusticeSeekerOK@aol.com

7 comments:

Gannet Girl said...
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Gannet Girl said...
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Gannet Girl said...

I give up. I was trying to create a link, but I always leave something crucial out. All I wanted to say was that I use either Sacred Space or Pray as You Go, or both, every day, and that the music on Pray as you Go is terrific.

http://pray-as-you-go.org

blugras presbyter said...

I've used Sacred Space for many years now. No every day, but most. The discipline is hard to attain, but worth the effort.

Quotidian Grace said...

I didn't know about this, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I'm going to check it out. Thanks so much for this post!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love these Sacred Space books. The Advent and Lent are perfect to read on-the-go because they're pocket-size. The big prayerbook goes all year and I love it!

Sarahlynn said...

The only downside . . . they're so small that I lost my Advent book the first week of December this year! (I never found it again, so I'm afraid it was recycled with the junk mail. Alas.)