To access the current Lenten devotional, visit our Advent and Lent Devotional homepage.
Lenten Devotional 2020
Read and/or listen to daily meditations written by members of the Seminary community. Scroll down to learn more about the various ways you can read the daily messages.
With thanks to our Distinguished Alumnae/i Award winners and Board members, who wrote this year's devotionals, and Deb Burgess '06, who provided the audio recordings.
Lenten Resource Kit 2020
Coffee with the Dean Video Series
During this weekly series, Dean Heather Vacek sits down with members of the PTS community to discuss Lenten practices, Lectionary passages, and their work at the Seminary. This year's series was cut short due to the pandemic.
- Dean Heather Vacek and Associate Professor of Homiletics and Worship Angela Dienhart Hancock discuss preaching the John 11 passage and the raising of Lazarus, how pastors can survive the busy season of Lent, and how to listen to a sermon. Watch Week 5
- In Week 4, Dean Heather Vacek and Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Jim Downey, talk about the mystery of Lent, the intersection of faith and science, and the story of Samuel anointing David. Watch Week 4
- Week 3: Listen in as Dean Heather Vacek and Academic Support Specialist for Registration and Church Planting Jane Larson discuss intentionality about worship, liturgy, and spiritual practices in new worshiping communities; joining in with what God is already doing in neighborhoods; and Lenten practices in new ministry contexts. Watch Week 3
- During Week 2, Heather Vacek interviews Vice President for Seminary Relations Charles Fischer about Lenten practices in the Episcopal Church and John 3, where Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night. Watch Week 2
- In this first video of the Coffee with the Dean Lent 2020 series, Dean Heather Hartung Vacek and the Rev. Derek R Davenport '05/'17, co-director of the Miller Summer Youth Institute, discuss Ash Wednesday practices and how to both preach and teach the story of Adam and Eve eating fruit from the forbidden tree. Watch Week 1
LENTEN REFLECTIONS E-BOOK
From Lent through Easter is both an important and an especially busy time for pastors and Christian leaders. In these pages, some of Pittsburgh Seminary's faculty and program directors offer fresh insights and practical ideas to foster the spiritual nourishment of your congregation—and yourself. The informal remarks of these pastor-theologians have been excerpted from "Conversations with the Dean" (a video series developed last year) on a variety of topics relevant to Christian ministry and witness at this reflective and celebratory time in the church year. May they enrich your ministry and your soul.
BIG BOOK OF LENTEN DEVOTIONALS
The Seminary's 2020 “Big Book of Lenten Devotionals” gives you a valuable resource for personal and corporate Spiritual formation during the Lenten season. From Day 1 through Easter, each section includes multiple biblical passages from the daily lectionary, reflections based on those passages, and accompanying prayers based on each reflection. Seminary alumnae/i, faculty, staff, Board members, and students have contributed to this resource to help enrich your Lenten worship for many years to come.
DOWNLOAD THE BIG BOOK OF LENTEN DEVOTIONALS (WORD Doc)
SYI HYMNAL FOR WIND INSTRUMENTS
The Miller Summer Youth Institute Hymnal for Wind Instruments coordinates with the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal and the 2013 Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal. This resource contains three charts for each song, and each chart shows the vocal lines from the hymnals transposed for a collection of instruments—the ones that the youth in your congregation learn to play for marching and symphonic band. Involve your kids and young adults in an upcoming service! Have them accompany your choir, perform special music in a small group, or play a solo on their flute, saxophone, trumpet, or other wind instrument.
OLD TESTAMENT TEXTS ELUCIDATE NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES
As you move through Lent and celebrate Easter, learn from New Testament professor Dr. Edith M. Humphrey how Old Testament texts elucidate New Testament passages on these themes via her blog and podcast, A Lamp for Today: Understanding the Old Testament with Jesus and the Apostles, which examines Scripture from an Eastern Christian perspective.
Lent: What about Melchizedek?
In this 15-minute talk, Dr. Humphrey considers the strange figure of Melchizedek in Hebrews 4:14-5:10 read in the light of Mark 8:27-9:1, Genesis 14, Isaiah 53, and Psalm 44/45. Why is the figure of Melchizedek compared with our Lord, and how must we go beyond this comparison to embrace the cross?
For a written version of Dr. Humphrey’s talk, with the same title, see her blog.
Easter: The Lightning of His Godhead
In this 15-minute talk, Dr. Humphrey considers the astonishing resurrectional hymns in the second tone and understands their dramatic language in the light of the book of Job, the prophecy of Isaiah, and the Transfiguration narratives.
For a written version of Dr. Humphrey’s talk, with the same title, see her blog.
Consider using the Rev. Carolyn Cranston’s ’99 sermon reflecting on John 13 in your Maundy Thursday service this year—or in a Lenten or Holy Week gathering featuring foot washing. Carolyn is the Seminary's director of alumnae/i and church relations.
From the office of the World Mission Initiative, the Rev. Bala Khyllep shares his sermon “Are You Watching?”—based on Luke 21:25-26—to encourage Christians to live uprightly and confidently amid turbulent times while we anticipate the Risen Christ’s return.
Consider the extravagant expression of gratitude shown in Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet in this 14-minute audio version of a chapel sermon by the Rev. Dr. Leanna Fuller, associate professor of pastoral care. The accompanying service bulletin provides a suggested liturgy for your use.
Old Testament professor the Rev. Dr. Steven Tuell provides a Lenten reflection, Palm Sunday Bible Study lesson, and Easter invitation to celebrate the Risen Lord in this “Tuell-kit” for Lenten worship.
To bookend your Lenten and Easter service planning, these PTS chapel bulletins, offered by Chapel Coordinator the Rev. Kendra Buckwalter Smith ’12/’13, give inspiration for your Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday worship. They include musical selections, Scripture readings, prayers, responsive readings, and, for Ash Wednesday, worship notes that elucidate our understanding of the associated observances.
ADDITIONAL LENTEN RESOURCES
For additional Lenten resources, visit the Digital Downloads "Seasonal Resources" page, and scroll down to the section titled "Lent."
About Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Rooted in the Reformed tradition, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is committed to the formation of women and men for theologically reflective ministry and to scholarship in service to the global Church of Jesus Christ.
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