The beginning of Lent is just around the corner. I feel like Ash Wednesday is sneaking up on us quickly this year. With a short time to plan for Lent this year, I am very grateful I began thinking about it early. Here are our plans for this year’s Lenten season.
As a family:
First Communion – Mother Loyola
Mister Man makes his First Holy Communion a few weeks after Easter. I wanted to do something a bit deeper for his preparation so I thought we would read First Communion by Mother Loyola. Initially this was going to be something he and I read together, but after pre-reading a bit, I knew it needed to be a family thing. It is so rich and beautiful. Mother Loyola has done a great job of making us all dig deeper into our faith and why the Holy Eucharist is such an important part of our lives.
Praying the Rosary
We never have done a consistent family rosary, we have prayed them periodically together. I pray them more often, but as a family it has never been something we’ve tried. So this Lent my plan is to do a family rosary once a week. I figure if we start small, we can add more into our week.
Abstinance and Fasting
We will be abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and each Friday as well as Holy Week. I love this time of reflection, the extra reminder of what Jesus did for us. I will be fasting for these days as well, however the kids will not be required to fast, but we do limit the amount of extras we have on those days.
Giving Up or Making Ourselves Better
While we all are still deciding on what to refrain from or what to work on to better ourselves. As a child I always gave something up, chocolate or candy, something that at the time I loved. Now I try to focus on how I can better myself. Instead of giving something up I want to say a rosary everyday or practice more patience in my life. I have found that taking the 40 days to really focus on ways I can be closer to God, helps me to be more grateful for his life, love and suffering.
Lenten Calendar – Catholic Icing
We use this calendar every year. The kids love marking off the days and keeping track of the special days within Lent. I put it on the wall above our prayer corner and it is at their eye-level making it a great reminder of our time during Lent.
Burying the Alleluia
This has been one of my kids favorite traditions during Lent. They love decorating the Alleluia then they each switch and hide each other’s Alleluia to find on Easter. They love hiding and finding and it’s a good reminder for them as to what Lent is all about.
Crown of Thorns
I am planning to make a crown of thorns with clay and toothpicks for the kids to use during Lent. Every time they make a sacrifice or do something good they get to take a thorn out of the crown. This is the first year I have been prepared enough to do this and I am hopeful it will be a great tradition. I love the reminder of what Christ did for us and how we can sacrifice for others as well.
Rediscover Jesus – Matthew Kelly
Each year our parish picks a book for the whole congregation to read together. This year is Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly. I am looking forward to digging deeper into my faith as I read this book daily over the 40 days.
The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
This was a book I picked for myself to read during Lent. I have been feeling called to become closer to God in my daily life. I am hopeful this will help me see Him in a deeper way. Especially in those mundane moments throughout my day.
What are you doing to help prepare your soul during Lent?