Beyond the Ashes: Biola Provides Aesthetic Lenten Experience

Mar. 5, 2014 By Jenna Bartlo

LA MIRADA, CALIF. — The Christian season of Lent has been underemphasized in many evangelical circles in recent history, but there is much this liturgical period preceding Easter can offer, according to Biola University President Barry H. Corey.

Biola University's Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts has developed The Lent Project — a 54-day calendar to guide believers on a reflective journey using a layering of scripture, devotional texts, works of art, poetry, videos and music.

“It is the quiet, reflective, preparatory season of Lent that perfectly meshes with the arts,” said Barry Krammes, art professor and director of the CCCA. “The meditative nature of the arts solidifies and calls forth a self-examination appropriate for this time.”

The calendar starts March 5, Ash Wednesday, and continues through Holy Week and Bright Week, ending Sunday, April 27. The Lent Project intends to inspire and create space for daily reflection and meditation — an occasion to pray with one's eyes and ears as well as heart and mind.

“More than just a 40-day period of abstaining from coffee or chocolate (or whatever else might tempt you), Lent is a meaningful liturgical season of anticipating the focal point of our faith: Christ’s sacrifice for us and the universal hope which his resurrection represents,” said Corey. “Lent can be a beautifully reflective time for us to quiet our hearts and lean in to the spectacular reality of the cross, the crown and the empty tomb.”

Lent is not just the practice of the spiritual disciplines of abstinence, but of engagement as well. Rather than being viewed exclusively as a season of dower self-denial, Lent encourages Christians to fully and joyfully enter into the life of Christ.

“Because of the overwhelming response to The Advent Project, the CCCA staff has prayerfully fashioned a 54-day Lent Project as a gift to the Christian community,” said Krammes.

For centuries artists have been inspired by the themes of Christ’s crucifixion, passion and resurrection. The Lent Project features works of art and music from the span of church history. Included are classic paintings and some of the oldest Lenten hymns, as well as contemporary music, art and photography from the 21st century. Each day’s entry contains a portion of scripture, a devotional or piece of poetry, a work of visual art or a short video, as well as a piece of music. Each pairing is a unique, often surprising gift to usher believers through the Lenten season.

Subscribe to receive daily entries from The Lent Project.

Watch a video introduction to the project.

For more information, please contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist, at 562.777.4061 or


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