Lent is the perfect time, as a family and as an individual, to set new habits in gear, to learn new prayers, to study the Bible more, to serve and offer mercy and charity, and to all around reflect on one's Christian walk and how we can better it. It is a perfect time to be very honest with oneself. I have been thinking this whole past week about how we, as a family, and how I might set goals for what we shall do as well as decide on things from which we will fast.
Here are two posts from last year of how we set aside preparing ourselves for Easter during the season of Lent: Feasting Before the Fast and Celebrating Lent as a Family.
This year, we will celebrate Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday with a Feast of Feasts, to finish off the meat in our household before we abstain as a family throughout Lent. And, of course, a lovely King's Cake to finish off the meal. And then Ash Wednesday, upon which we'll venture off to mass to receive a gritty sign on our foreheads to remind us of our humanity.
As we work through the 40 Days of Lent, here are some disciplines we plan to add to our lives:
- Make Pretzel rolls - Pretzels are a common fasting food, and the shape reminds us of arms folded in prayer
- Memorize the Prayer, the Anima Christi, as a family. Last year, Dom worked on memorizing the Guardian Angel prayer, and now we've made that a part of his naptime + bedtime prayers.
- Bless someone (or someones) we know with either a meal or baked goods
- Pray the Rosary - I want to try for once daily myself, and hopefully once a week as a family.
- Stations of the Cross Eggs - this DIY guide from Catholic Icing to making your own eggs that tell the story of the 14 Stations are perfect for any child to better grasp the steps. We'll be working to collect the pieces as we work our way through Lent.
- Holy Week Calendar - to be made during Holy Week with Dom to help him better understand the importance of that week.
- Get thee to Confession.
- Keep up with a devotional. I obtained Lent With the Saints: Daily Meditations and I'm hoping to get each days devotion in with my morning coffee.
Also go check out my ever favorite Carrots for Michaelmas for Haley's latest on Preparing for Lent and this epic-ly long, yet equally epic-ly awesome post from Karen Edmisten - it has ideas, whys, hows, you name it. Just go read them.
Note that abstaining meat is not a Church-wide practice or requirement - rather you are only asked to sacrifice meat on Fridays during Lent. As a family, we choose to not eat meat or desserts throughout the whole of Lent, with exception of a few Feast days and if we are being hosted by another family, who is preparing the meal. Our children eat meat with their lunches as well to maintain proper nutritional balance.
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