This year, Ash Wednesday will fall on March 9. In order to make Lent a time of deepening spirituality for all the members of our family, it’s important that we plan ahead. What might we do to help each other grow closer to God this Lent? If we take some time now, we can make Lent a time for personal and family faith growth.
By beginning now, we can talk to our children about Lenten sacrifice. We can remind them that there are a variety of things they might do. Sometimes it is helpful to take a positive action instead of always "giving something up." If parents can offer some suggestions, children and teens can find something meaningful to do. The family can decide on a sacrifice to make together, such as participating in Operation Rice Bowl.
It is helpful to prepare a Prayer Space somewhere in our house. A small table with a candle and a book of short daily devotions can make a special place for everyone in the family to take a few minutes to pray each day during Lent. A cross or rosary might be nice additions to the prayer space.
There are many family activities that we can add to our Lenten calendar. A family movie night can feature an appropriate video – anything from Veggie Tales to a movie about the life of a saint to a movie with a morality theme to a musical about Jesus’ life. Participating in a Stations of the Cross prayer that is aimed at children can be an opportunity for learning about our faith. Volunteering together is a great practice for Lent. By contacting a local soup kitchen or food pantry or clothing cupboard, we can make arrangements to spend time helping others.
There are many ideas for making Lent meaningful for everyone in our family. By planning now, we can make the most of this sacred season.