“I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Truly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We’ll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”
Before I became a mom, I was a really good one. I had all kinds of ideas of what I was going to do with Ellen, how I would raise her, and things I would most certainly not do. Having a kid really changes that, no? One thing that I am still convinced that I am going to rock is incorporating Catholic activities into our lives. Catholics love to observe, teach and celebrate, and I want to reflect that in my home. So, while I might not be making my own pasta from scratch each night while washing my dishes with my homemade dish soap, I’m going to do this, dang it. At least one of them…
© patronestaff / Dollar Photo Club
- Make a Prayer Chain: List 40 intentions or people on 40 slips of paper. Link them together into a chain. Rip one off each morning of Lent and pray for that need.
- Bury the Hallelujah: Explain why we don’t proclaim hallelujah during Lent. To symbolize, write out hallelujah on paper and bury it in the yard or put it away in a box.
- Temptation Cookies: While baking cookies, tell your children about the temptation of Jesus in the desert. When the cookies are done, leave them on the table, but they cannot eat them until the next day. Talk about how tempting this might be and what we can do to resist temptation.
- Memorize a Prayer: The Act of Contrition would be a good one for Lent, but if your kids already know it, pick a prayer they are unfamiliar with.
- Color Easter Eggs: While you do, talk about why they are part of Easter. They represent new life.
- Watch an Easter Related Movie or Show: Veggie Tales and Storykeepers are just a couple of the many series that have Easter specials.
- Read Easter Books: I like The Crippled Lamb, The Story of Easter, and The Legend of the Three Trees
- Children’s (or regular) Stations of the Cross: Visit one, Read one, Color one, etc.
- Make Pretzels: They symbolize arms crossed in prayer. Find out more here.
- Pick a Service Activity: It can be something small like paying for the person behind you in line at lunch, or do something bigger like visiting a nursing home to chat with residents. Talk about the Corporal Works of Mercy today.
- Study the Saint of the Day: The dates of Lent are always changing, so pick a day to do this and learn about the Saint for that day. Read his or her biography and maybe even find a craft or prayer to go along with your study.
- Make a Tomb Scene: I like this one, this one and this one.
- Browse a Catholic Book Store: Wander around and look for Easter and Lent related items. Maybe even treat your little one to a small gift.
- Visit a Cemetery: Find a family member in a cemetery and explain how Jesus died so this person could go to heaven.
- Go to Church: But, not during Mass or Adoration. Instead, just explore the building.
- Adoration: You might not be able to stay long, but try for 10 minutes or so. Before going, prep your child on what Adoration is, how we behave and what is to be expected. Sit in silence for just a little while or help your child pray. Ask him what he thought of the experience after you leave.
- A Daily Mass: You might not be able to get the brood out of the house each day to do this, but pick on day to get up early and attend Mass on a weekday. Maybe even have a special breakfast at home afterwards.
- Rosary: Catholics always pray the Sorrowful Mysteries during Lent. It may be hard to get wiggly kids to sit for this, but just practice. Maybe even find a guide for your child to follow along with. If you’re feeling really ambitious, consider making your own Rosary while you pray it.
- Divine Mercy Chaplet: Do this in the same way you did the Rosary. Use a guide if it helps. Or, listen to one using an app for your phone.
- Take Stock of Sacrifices: Write a journal or talk about how your sacrifice is going this Lent. What can you do better? What are you doing well?
- Learn an Easter Song: I like Christ the Lord is Risen Today, but I know there is also a Veggie Tales song you could use too.
- Make Hot Cross Buns: They symbolize Christ’s suffering on the cross.
- Plant Something: Plant flowers, a plant or Easter grass, take care of it and watch it grow. Talk about new life and rising from the grave.
- Make an Easter Basket for a Neighbor: Fill it with your favorite treats and surprise your neighbor with your gift. Don’t forget to add a prayer card!
- Make a Crown of Thorns: I love the idea of taking out a thorn for each good deed your child does.
- Explain the Easter Bunny: I also love these Scriptures that show what a “real Easter bunny” is. Act it out with a stuffed animal.
- Easter Coloring Pages: Spend a day relaxing and coloring some cute pages. I like this one.
- Read the Story of the Last Supper: Either read it straight from Scripture or find a kid’s version. Either way, prepare a nice meal for dinner, and read and discuss the story while you eat.
- Plan and Cook a Meatless Meal Together: Obviously, save this one for a Friday. Go simple like mac n’ cheese or try something more complicated that looks good to them. Explain why we abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent.
- Almsgiving Activity: Create an almsgiving box and choose a charity to donate to. Save all of your change this season by putting it in your family’s box.
- Petting Zoo: Visit a petting zoo, but make sure they have lambs or sheep. Talk about why we call Jesus the Sacrificial Lamb.
- Fill a Bag to Donate: Declutter your house and make a donation to Goodwill. Toys, clothes, books, housewares, etc. are all fair game. This is part of almsgiving too.
- Light a Candle at Church: Let your child choose a special person to light a candle for.
- Dress in Purple: Explain how purple is a color of mourning but also a color of royalty – Jesus the King.
- Write a Note to a Clergy Member: Whether it be local or farther away, have your kids choose a person to write a letter to. Maybe your kid wants to write a thank you letter. It could even be a letter asking questions about our faith. You might get a great response!
- Get a Fast Food Fish Sandwich: This is the one time of year that advertisers take Catholics into account. I like to support that idea by feasting on some fatty goodness.
- Make Resurrection Cookies: Make sure you read the story along with it.
- Pick a Nice Outfit for Easter Mass: Shop the closet or the store and talk about dressing our best for Jesus and the celebration of Easter
- Go on a Garden Walk: Explain the story of the Garden of Gethsemane while you meander.
- Attend a Passion Play: Most churches have them. Look around at your local parishes. If you’re more adventurous, try out for a part.
Check out the Lent reflections participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013! We’ll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE.
Discover new Catholic Blogs to follow!