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.
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 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!