We sang Psalm 130 this evening during the Ash Wednesday service, had the imposition of ashes, and then had choir practice. This is one of the pieces we’re working on. I like it a lot, though somehow it makes me think of alligators. The slowness, perhaps.

We also rehearsed Natalie Sleeth’s “Joy in the Morning,” which makes me think of Prayer Meeting at the Highwaymen’s Lair. I like it, too.

One of the tenors said he felt that there was “less cheese” in the Lenten music, presumably in comparison to ordinary time, so I may not be the only one who gets a bit fanciful over the music.

I have chosen for my Lenten study a book based on “When I survey the wondrous cross” by Isaac Watts. This song can be dismissed as old fashioned, but I have sung some gorgeous arrangements of it. I’m looking forward to learning what the author finds in it that’s worth contemplating for 40 days.

On the other hand, I’m having trouble coming up with something to give up for Lent. This is probably because I am in the midst of the Whole 30, which, my slip last weekend notwithstanding, is so thorough an experience of deprivation that I can’t think of anything else to give up.

Perhaps I can experience the rest of the Whole 30 as a Lenten discipline. Or maybe I will be shown some sin that I should eschew. Or maybe I need to give up something further, such as novels or tea, both of which I have given up as a Lenten discipline in the past. It has to be something you naturally reach for or at least desire often enough for it to remind you to contemplate the serious things of Lent.

I’ll go read the day’s meditation on “When I survey the wondrous cross” and see if I’m inspired.