Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Simple Lent for Children

Combine the following:
:: Prayer. Our parish encouraged us to choose an Institute of Christ the King seminarian to pray for; now my girls feel like they're living out the "Spiritual Motherhood for Priests" sermon from Audio Sancto in real life. :)  This year in particular, you could pray for the Holy Father, and I'm sure your family has many personal intentions.  Maybe you can pray an extra decade of the Rosary, start doing the Angelus before meals, or make it to an extra Mass each week.  Whatever kind of prayer you choose and whomever you choose to pray for, Lent is a season to devote a little extra time to praying with your children.
:: Fasting.  For children, that might mean fasting from a favorite food, toy, or book.

Add any combination of the list below, to taste:
:: A way to mark the days.  We use this Lenten calendar and a paper chain to count down the days.  Each loop in our chain has a prayer to say, and the children can remove a toothpick from the "crown of thorns" after we recite that prayer together.  Speaking of...
:: A tangible record of penance.  Good encouragement to littles ones to stick with their resolutions.  We're doing a personal crown of thorns for each child this year instead of a big family one like usual--they're thrilled.  Other families do sacrifice beans or St. Therese beads.
:: The Stations of the Cross.  We like to do ours with a Stations Box and cards.  I always say I'm going to set up this candle version, but I haven't gotten around to it yet--maybe next year?  I think it's lovely.
:: Sacred music.  We're learning one Latin, one English this year: "O Sacred Head Surrounded" and "Stabat Mater."
:: Spiritual reading.  I'll be using Jenn's Lent for Children: a Thought a Day once again this year.
:: Development of good habits.  Lent is a great time to build a good habit.  We are Charlotte Mason homeschoolers here, after all!

Blend, but don't overmix.  Simmer until Easter.  Then enjoy!

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