In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus connected fasting with charitable giving and prayer. In the early Church, new Christians spent a lot of time preparing for their baptism at the Easter Vigil. The season of fasting called Lent became the final and most intense part of the preparation. Since Christians understand Jesus’ death and resurrection as an essential part of our reconciliation with God, Lent also became a time to seek reconciliation.

Many Christian practices have developed over the last 1600 years, but Lent has remained a season of holiness and humility. A time to respond to God’s Word in charitable giving, abstaining from worldly pleasures, earnestly seeking God through study and prayer, and accepting our need for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Below are ways that members of St. James Cathedral are encouraged to engage with this Holy Season. Read the Dean's Lenten Letter.

Lenten Appeal

Don't just give something up for Lent! Give to our Lenten charity as well. Holy Family Ministries nurtures children’s social, academic, physical, and spiritual development from Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods. Donate online or write “Lenten Appeal” on your check or envelope memo. Pence cans are available in the back of the Cathedral for children and those interested in donating change as well.

Lenten Formation

Using the Diocese of Chicago’s Legacy of Slavery Task Force Report, begin creating a future of reconciliation within our beloved community in this course called “Pathway to Reconciliation.”

Lenten Retreat

From Friday, Mar. 15 through Sunday, Mar. 17, the Very Rev. Lister Tonge, Dean of Monmouth in the Church in Wales will lead St. James members on a journey through Lent in preparation for Easter. $250 for the weekend with scholarships available. 

Lenten Meditations

As part of your Lenten journey, be sure to follow St. James Cathedral on Facebook and Instagram! Throughout Lent, our clergy are sharing 30-second meditations every day (except Sundays of course...come to church for a sermon!) It is easy to view the "stories." If the profile picture has a circle around it, click to watch a short Lenten message.