Are you starting to think about Lent? Lent begins for the Western Church on Wednesday, March 1 and ends on Saturday, April 15. I am starting to get some ideas in place for Lent for both myself and the children, and wanted to share in case any of my ideas would be helpful in your own family.
One of the major things we do in Lent is house cleaning and home making. In fact, I have an entire series of posts regarding this under the Family Life header.
I have divided the list in my head into Prayer/Reflection, Gratitude and Kindness, Charity, and Nature. Then I started breaking down activities and books into these areas, with the idea and hope that we will have a peaceful Lent. We are Episcopalian, which is part of the Anglican Communion, so many of our family’s Lenten traditions and expectations reflect this spiritual path.
For myself: The 5 Marks of Love by The Society of St. John the Evanagelist; there are also children’s guides for parishes on this material. I also plan to look and investigate the Devotional Societies of the Anglican Communion.
For the children:
Books for Children About Prayer and Self-Reflection:
- The Monk Who Grew Prayer
- The Hidden Garden: A Story of the Heart by Jane G. Meyer
- St. Seraphim’s Beatitudes: Blessings For Our Path To Heaven
- In The Candle’s Glow
- From I-Ville to You-Ville
- Pray Morning and Evening Prayers from the Book of Common Prayer
- Pray the Great Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim
- Learn about the Saints who have Feast Days during Lent
- Memorize the Beatitudes
- Memorize the 5 Marks of Mission of the Episcopal Church
- Attend Mass
- Confess to our priest
Gratitude and Kindness:
For myself: I love the gratitude journaling prompts over at Orthodox Mom
Love people – spend time with those we love
For our family:
- Ideas from our our positive family attitude Pinterest Board
- Plan a special siblings’ day – gratitude for each other
- No complaining
- We will be looking for ways to spread the mission of The Episcopal Church in kindness: to commit to seek and serve Christ in all persons, to love our neighbor as ourselves; and to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being.
For our entire family:
- Serve others in need through donations of goods, money, and time.
- Collect coins throughout Great Lent and donate to The Episcopal Charities Foundation of our diocese.
Nature for the entire family:
For myself: Maintain an advocacy role in the arenas of climate change, clean water and clean air, and renewable energy sources
- Hike several times a week.
- Rest and observe quiet several times a day outside
My plan is to put together a Lenten book basket, to use a morning time to meet and tackle some of the things from the prayer/reflection section, to go over the Feast Days of different Saints during Lent and add icons or pictures of these Saints to an ever expanding list that we hang in our school room, and to put a chart up reminding ourselves ways we can celebrate Lent.
I would love to hear your plans for this Lent.
Thank you for sharing Carrie! The books you mentioned….would they be nice to share with a first grader? We also have an almost 5 year old. Thank so much for your wisdom, tips, and being our family spring pad.
Hi Melissa and Celeste,
The Monk Who Grew Prayer and In the Candle’s Glow would be fine for first graders; The Hidden Garden and From I-Ville to You-Ville I am requesting through my library so I will let you know. In the meantime, do check out the Lenten Book Basket link that has reviews to many Lenten books.
Carrie lovely post as always. Would the books mentioned be good for 8 and 6 year olds please?
Pingback: Celebrating March | The Parenting Passageway