Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting Ready... as a Family

We are getting ready for Lent around here, using some things that have worked in the past, and adding in some new practices.

This year, we are following the Church's lead, and are taking a three-pronged approach to our family's Lenten observances:

Prayer: We share devotions after dinner every night from the book, "The Lenten Tree." In addition, we will pray a family rosary on Monday afternoons, and we will use our Lenten candleabra and "The Story of the Cross" book to pray the Stations of the Cross* on Wednesdays.

Books and Candleabra

Fasting: The kids chose ice cream for their Lenten fast this year. (Which, of course, means that Mardi Gras will be an ice cream festival around here!)

Almsgiving: On Friday afternoons, when I pick them up from preschool/homeschool classes, we usually go somewhere for lunch. During Lent, we will continue to pick a place to "go" each Friday; however, instead of going there, we will stop at the bank, take out the cash we would have spent on lunch, come home to eat sandwiches and put the money we saved in a jar. At the end of Lent, DH and I will match the total in the jar, and we'll send a check to Catholic Relief Services for Haiti.

Alms jar next to the Word

To help us keep everything straight, and to show us how we are getting closer to the joy of Easter, I've made a calendar. After nightly devotions, we will mark off each date.

Our Lenten Calendar

What Lenten practices do you use with your family?


* The way we pray the Stations is this: we light all 14 candles in the candleabra. After each station is read, we pause for a moment of silence, and then take turns snuffing out a candle, until we reach the end and find ourselves in (relative) darkness.

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