Ideas for Observing Lent in the Domestic Church
LENT: a time to grow closer to God.
A time to take up practices that lead us toward him and to leave behind practices that distract us from him.
“Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.” – Ven. Fulton Sheen
“Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.” – St. Rose of Lima
- Read Prince of Peace Catholic Church’s The Shape of Lent and the Paschal Mystery 2022 and consider participating in the community-wide weekly sacrifices for Lent.
- Pray, go to mass, confession, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as often as you can.
- Read the Bible daily; even just a chapter a day! Read Scripture and stories of the saints to children.
- Home décor: your home can reflect the penitential season (use burlap; cactus instead of flowers; simple candles and religious items on tables, mantles, etc). Incorporate the liturgical color of purple.
- Movie sacrifice idea: instead of a favorite show, watch a Catholic saints story or a religious film (free with your parishioner FORMED account). Or, use that time to read about the Faith or lives of the saints.
- Make pretzels:pretzels were first baked during Lent (story here) because they can be made with water, flour, and salt. The shape came from a posture of prayer: arms crossed and hands on opposite shoulders. Recipe here.
- Save money to give to the poor: brainstorm ideas for how you can do this as a family. Perhaps eat at home instead of going out and give the extra $$ to charity. Are there little luxuries that can be sacrificed and the money donated? Some families might choose to do an offering jar. As a family, place all your spare change in the jar for the entire season of Lent, and let your kids put it in the offering plate on Easter Sunday.
- 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).
- Make a prayer chain: write a person or prayer request on 40 strips of paper. Assemble them into a paper chain. Remove one link per day, and pray for that thing with your kids.
- Build a Lenten Cross. Similar to an Advent wreath, you light one or more candles each night during dinner for the entire Lenten season.
- Sign up for “Holy Heroes” free Lenten adventure (kids ages 5-12): com
- Make a salt dough “crown of thorns” to place on your table: link here. For each Lenten sacrifice made, pull a toothpick out. The goal is to remove all the “thorns” by Easter. (Additionally, you can paint it gold and decorate with flowers where the “thorns” once were and use as an Easter centerpiece.)
- Bake an edible “crown of thorns” for Ash Wednesday or Good Friday: simply braid bread dough into a crown shape and bake. Push pretzel sticks (‘thorns’) into the crown as soon as it comes out of the oven. (idea here)
- Similar to the crown of thorns activity, you could also do “sacrifice beans.” On the table is a bowl filled with dried beans next to a jar. When you make a sacrifice for Jesus, 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 yummy jelly beans (or other such candies).
- Make some empty tomb crafts with kids. Try this Calvary Hill Plant that grows throughout Lent. Decorate with flowers on Easter morning and add a little statue of Jesus outside the empty tomb to represent the risen Lord. Click here for more. Kids love this fun project and you can use it as your Easter centerpiece!
- Try to set a daily goal to sacrifice in these areas:
- Diet: sacrifice a food or drink you love
- Physical: do something physically difficult every day (push-ups; daily walk; run a mile; etc.)
- Spiritual: spend daily time with God in prayer and Scripture
“The Lord measures out perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, but by the manner in which we perform them.” – St. John of the Cross