We've begun reading Great Lent
by Father Alexander Schmemann in our parish book group. In Chapter Two "The Lenten Worship" which we read today Father has a very useful reflection on the purpose of the worship in the Fast including the added length and "monotony", as he calls it, of the services. The book, at least some of it including this chapter can be read on googlebooks
. Don't know if Fr. Schmemann's teaching would be helpful for your parishioners.
I'm unclear what you mean by
in my parish they sing lenten hymns while the priest prays the anaphora.