Making the Most of Lent
Every year Lent rolls around, and every year comes the question, “So what are you giving up for Lent?” My answer, typically provided with sobbing and an ever-increasing sense of existential dread, is: Coffee!
But this year, with our girls old enough to start understanding the different seasons and holidays in the Church, I thought it was time to try something new.
This season, I’m looking for ways that we can celebrate the Lenten season in the Church, and in our families. The Worshiping With Children website has some terrific
ideas that we’ll be incorporating into our Children’s Chapel and Youth Group this month, such as writing down our Lenten intentions and making pretzels.
For the littlest ones, the idea that stood out the most was to approach the season of Lent not as a time to give up one thing for the whole six weeks but to try doing a different act of faith each week.
Carolyn suggests acts such as praying The Lord’s Prayer together or putting prayer intentions on a poster and praying for those intentions with the family.
By changing it up each week, and by making the Lenten observation an act of prayer and worship, children may find it easier to follow along--and your family may find it easier to keep up the habit--than trying to stay focused on one thing for the entire Lenten season.
This year, I still intend to give up coffee. It’s such a part of my daily routine that the disruption will remind me daily to think about what Lent is all about and to say a prayer. That prayer may be for patience or for energy or for the stamina I’ll need to get through the day without coffee, but it will be a daily reminder nonetheless.
But in addition to giving up things, we’ll be doing our best to bring more actions of prayer and Lenten intention into our family and faith practice.
To read more by Rachel, read her blog.