Lent Retreat: 2018

from the ISC: Glasgow

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 Suggestions for Group Leaders

Weekly Meetings

Meeting Three: Second Week of Lent

We give suggestions for each week’s group meeting, but it is up to you to organise how you feel best.
Feel free to move things around, omit or add things; you must feel comfortable with your meeting. Begin with tea and biscuits while people gather and are welcomed.
You might like to set the scene with a centrepiece, maybe a candle and cloth of Lenten colours.

Outline of Meeting

We suggest beginning with tea and biscuits while people gather and are welcomed.

1.  Opening Prayer
– Take a couple of minutes of quiet prayer to ask God to be with you during the meeting.  Pray that God might speak to the heart of each person in the group.

2. Sharing
- Ask each individual to go over their prayer times this week; give them a moment to consult their journal.
You might ask them:

3. Divine Reading - Lectio Divina
Lead the group through a prayerful reading of Scripture.
Before you start, prepare a quotations from scripture you would like to use; ideally from the psalms or wisdom literature, preferably not a story.  It may be scripture from this week's Online Retreat.  Make sure everyone has access to the scripture.
It will be good to explain the stages of this prayer before doing it.
Take a Break:  After a short break it would be good for those who wish to share something of this prayer with the group.
You might ask people to say the word or phrase that meant the most to them.
You could ask what God is saying to them or it how do they feel now. 

If you get some good responses from the group, you might suggest that these are the sorts of things they could note in their journals after each prayer session.

4. Looking Forward – Make sure the time and venue etc. of the next meeting is clear.

5. Thank everyone for coming.

 Leader's Notes: Lectio Divina

  • Lectio Divina is a way of praying developed in the monasteries when not all could read. The reader would read out a passage of scripture over and over again, and when the individual had received something that said something to him or her they would ponder over this. It is a way to allow Scripture to sink in, to challenge us in our lives.

  • One problem with doing this prayer in a group is that different words or phrases will touch different people, so you can't pick out words or phrases for the group as a whole.
    To get over this, you can read the whole passage slowly two or three times, perhaps with different voices, giving a good long space between the reading.

  • Many find it helpful, when not in a group, to speak out the words, or repeat the phrase out-loud over and over again;  listening to, and ruminating on, the words. 
    With some groups, particularly a younger one, repeating the word or phrase during the prayer might be helpful.

  • I have suggested that you 'talk to God in your own words'; however, you may like to replace the more abstract term 'God' with 'Jesus', 'the Lord', 'Heavenly or Loving Father'
    To find out what the group are comfortable with it would be good to ask the group how they see God, how to they address God?
    You may get an idea of what image of God they have, and the language they are most comfortable with - useful when you are leading prayer.