The Wonder of A Simple Lent

Candlemas is upon us next Friday, and I am planning something simple to celebrate.  However, Lent is  also coming.  It begins on Valentine’s Day this year.  This long season of anticipation and wonder always takes me longer to plan, so I am beginning to look at how we want to keep wonder alive during these 40 days.  During Lent,  I have that feeling of love for this introspective time of the year.  There is something so moving and wonderful about this season.  The gradual awakening of the earth from its beginning budding of the flowers and trees to the jubliant and triumpant spring is wonderful each and every year.

Lent in the Waldorf home has a certain spirituality of the soul that can be transmitted to children with the doing of the most simple things that are outside of any specific religious tradition.  If you are new to Lent as a spiritual practice, I recommend that you start small!  It can be as simple as commiting to watching the birds at your bird feeder every day; commiting to taking a beautiful hike or walk outside all the Saturdays of Lent, or doing work to help someone else.

Lent is a wonderful time to empty your calendar and focus on what matters most in your heart.  Let us recommit to our children in the most wonderful of ways.

My  own spirituality is tied to my religious practice as an Episcopalian and part of the world-wide Anglican communion, so I am sharing my Lenten plans based upon this. Perhaps you can modify these ideas for your own family.  Any Lenten practice is more about doing  than words when children are involved, but I do have two  teenagers so it seems appropriate to have both the words and the doing this year!

My main plans include:

Lenten meals.  I am focused on make ahead breakfasts and eating many vegetarian meals.  There are quite a few links on my Lent Pinterest board board for different meal ideas.

Lenten housecleaning.  I typically spread “spring cleaning” throughout Lent.

Establishing healthy habits to last not only the 40 days of Lent but for the rest of the year; you can see more about my view of Lent as a time for re-growth and renewal here

We will be attending Ash Wednesday Mass, Mass throughout Lent, and the masses of Holy Week.  They are quite different than the typical Divine Liturgy. My favorites include Maundy Thursday and Easter Vigil.

There will be an offering jar to donate to Episcopal Relief and Development on our table.

We will be saying the Lenten prayer of St. Ephraim (St. Ephrem in the Orthodox tradition) together daily.  It is short and easy to say with children.

I ordered Station of the Cross cards from a Roman Catholic supplier, and will modify prayers for each station from this document from The Episcopal Church Stations of the Cross for Global Justice and Reconciliation  to go through on the Fridays of Lent.

I will be reading along with The Good Book Club  and will be listening to the podcast from the Episcopal Migration Ministries that will be running throughout the Lenten Season

I will make a  Lenten calendar for the smallest member of our family to follow along.

Hoping to incorporate suggestions from the 2018 Carbon Fast for Lent calendar

I would love to hear what you are doing to build up the wonder, renewal, anticipation of Lent!

Blessings,
carrie

 

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2 thoughts on “The Wonder of A Simple Lent

  1. Thank you for these wonderful ideas. A card of St. Ephrem with his prayer just came into our home. I had no idea it was for Lent, and will continue to pray it daily during that season. Also, I have been reading Dancing with God by Gertrud Mueller Nelson and am savoring this classic.

    On Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 7:04 AM, The Parenting Passageway wrote:

    > Carrie posted: “Candlemas is upon us next Friday, and I am planning > something simple to celebrate. However, Lent is also coming. It begins > on Valentine’s Day this year. This long season of anticipation and wonder > always takes me longer to plan, so I am beginning to l” >

  2. Hi Carrie, I have been reading your blog for several years, and I love it! Thank you for making time to contribute to it regularly – I so look forward to reading your work and it has helped shape our family’s perspective so much. We also attend an Episcopal church and our 6-year-old is attending a Waldorf Kindergarten, which we are very happy with, but we are extremely drawn to the idea of Waldorf homeschooling. Anyway, I am curious to know your thoughts on how to approach the Easter story with young children. Our 6-year old is very sensitive, extremely sensitive (although I think all children are more sensitive than our culture typically assumes). The Easter story is harsh and violent. A man nailed to a cross and left to die? To me, this is no story for children and I have struggled with this for the past few years. I am wondering how you have approached this with children of various ages.

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