A different Wednesday

A different Wednesday

Ash Wednesday begins our Lenten season. While Ash Wednesday may look different in some of our parishes this year, we can still begin this Lenten season seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness, recognizing that God forgives us despite our failures. Some of us may receive a sprinkling of ashes on the crown of our head and some of us may not even be able to gather to receive ashes at all. Whatever your Ash Wednesday experience is this year, this activity sheet below can help you kick off this Lenten season.

Lent is the 40 days before Easter — a time we spend preparing ourselves to celebrate the Resurrection of Easter. Along with our individual preparations, we are called to help our children prepare for Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Enter into this Lenten season with a family plan. Use the customary acts of penance of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to help your family find a way to celebrate this penitential season together. Below are just a few examples of things your family can do to enter into this Lenten season. 

Prayer opens our hearts to hear God and strengthens our relationship with God. 

Create a prayer table in your home, if you do not already have one. Include a candle, bible, and crucifix and invite your children to pray at the prayer table throughout the day. 

Commit to praying a decade of the rosary (or the whole thing) with your children everyday. During breakfast, on the drive to school, around your family prayer table, or right before bed — decide on a specific time that will work for your family’s schedule. 

Create a prayer jar with 40 names of people you would like to pray for this Lent (be sure to include our pope, bishops, priests and religious sisters too). Chose a name everyday and pray for that individual. 

Fasting helps us think less about earthly things so we can focus on Christ. Fasting makes room in our hearts and in our lives for the things Jesus wants to do in us in preparation for Easter. 

Give up a toy for Lent. Invite your child to select a toy he or she likes and place it in their closet for the season of Lent. 

Give up desserts at family meals or Sunday donuts — something you all eat together as a family. 

Introduce your children to the idea of fasting from meat on Fridays. 

Almsgiving recognizes the blessings God has given to us and shares them with other people. 

Find clothing and toys to donate to your local Saint Vincent de Paul (or a similar Catholic charity). 

Create care packages for homeless shelters, nursing homes, or local charities. 

If your children are old enough, talk to them about offering time. Tutoring younger children, writing letters to the elderly in nursing homes, or volunteering at a local soup kitchen are all ways older children can donate their time. 

I pray your Lenten season is filled with sacrifices that unite you and your family to the one who offered the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. 

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