Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17th
- Pray, go to mass, confession, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as often as you can.
- Try to set a daily goal to sacrifice in three areas:
- Diet: sacrifice a treat or food/drink item
- Physical: do something physically difficult every day of Lent (push-ups; daily walk; run a mile, etc)
- Spiritual: commit to spend daily time with God in prayer and Scripture
- Home décor: your home can reflect the penitential Lenten season (use burlap; cactus instead of flowers; simple candles and religious items on tables or mantles; etc). Incorporate the liturgical color of purple (perhaps with a purple cloth on the table or purple candles).
- Movie sacrifice suggestion: instead of watching a favorite show, watch a Catholic saint story or other religious film (free with your parishioner FORMEDaccount). Or, use that time to read about the Catholic Faith or lives of the saints.
- Save money to give to the poor: brainstorm ideas for how you can do this together as a family. Perhaps eat at home instead of going out for a meal and give the extra $$ to charity. Is there some other little luxury that can be sacrificed and the proceeds donated to charity?
- Pray the “Stations of the Cross” on Fridays. If you can’t go to the one at church, it is simple to pray them at home. Click here to print out the prayers (and pictures that children can color).
- Sign up for “Holy Heroes” free Lenten adventure online (kids ages 5-12): HolyHeroes.com
- Make a salt dough “crown of thorns” to place on your table: link here. For each Lenten sacrifice made, pull a toothpick out of the crown. The goal is to remove all the “thorns” by Easter. (Additionally, you could paint it gold and decorate with colorful jewels or flowers where the “thorns” once were and use as an Easter centerpiece.)
- Another idea is to make an edible “crown of thorns” for Ash Wednesday or Good Friday: simply braid bread dough into a crown and bake. Push pretzel sticks (as ‘thorns’) into the ‘crown’ as soon as it comes out of the oven. (See idea here at this link)
- Similar to the crown of thorns activity, you could also do a “bean jar.” On the kitchen table is placed a bowl filled with dried beans and a jar. When a family member makes a sacrifice, they put a bean in the jar. Then, on Easter morning, children wake up to find that the beans that have accumulated in the jar during Lent have been changed into colorful and yummy jelly beans! Click here for more on this idea.
LENT: a time to grow closer to God. To take up new practices that lead us toward him and to leave behind practices that distract us from him.