It can be hard to keep up with all the important aspect of Lent. Families get busy and while we start of with the best of intentions at the beginning of Lent, we may be, by the end losing “faith” in our ability to participate in reconciliation, abstinence, and charity. Lent is 40 days long, and these 15 activities to do together as a family will not only make the time fly by but will strengthen your family and family bonds.
It seems that we start off Lent with the best of intentions, but as the days go by we may get busy once again with our everyday lives. Here’s a little “pick me up” to help us make it through Lent in the best possible way.
- Do this family craft “God’s Circle of Love” from Oriental Trading.com as a reminder of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and Ascension Sunday. It is a lovely craft to make together with the whole family and use as a wreath on your front door. You can also find many Lenten, Easter and Palm Sunday crafts and activities for the whole family to enjoy.
- Place the names of friends and family member’s names in a jar. Pull one person’s name out
every day and say a pray for them.
- Each day drop your coins into an “offering jar” these can be left over from lunch, found in the laundry, clean out the car console or taken from your piggy bank. Each Sunday take your collection and allow the youngest child in the family to give it during the offering.
- Leave the Bible on the coffee table, by seeing it we are more likely to do our Lenten Readings each day. It acts as a reminder and take turns with each member of the family doing the readings.
- Turn off one day – take time to do something together as a family. Turn off the radio, TV, computer, MP3 players and even the cell phones. Play games, cook together do your readings and enjoy your family time.
- Choose one extra service during Lent to perform, some ideas include extra offerings on Sunday mass, working in a soup kitchen, leaving an extra special tip when dining out, cutting the grass for an elderly neighbor.
- For those who trust in God the “glass is half full” take this time to concentrate on the blessings your family has received, not what you don’t have. Fill a glass half full and leave a note from St. Julian which says, “All is Well” on your dining table as the centerpiece throughout Lent. Take turns filling the glass with fresh water each day.
- Each day chose one item in the house from clothing, foods, books, DVD’s, CD’s toys and more that you can donate to a local charity. At the end of Lent you will have a wonderful collection of items to donate.
- Reach out to someone – a friend or family member, in the spirit of the story of the “Prodigal Son.”
- As we look to cleaning our spirit, chose the “dirty spot” in your house – the windows, the curtains, the attic, garage or ceiling fans. Everyone in the family can chip in to help clean up the dirt accumulated and learn about the spirit of teamwork and the spirit of cleanliness, both spiritual and physical.
- A reminder of God’s grace is always a “pick me up” choose a favorite verse that lifts your spirits and write it on a note card to stick on the refrigerator. Once every family member has done this there should be enough to keep you going on really tough days.
- Choose a day to put someone else’s needs above your own, whether a stranger, friend or family.
- Take time to attend your Fish Fry. Many local parishes and the Knights of Columbus are hosting them. It not only gives you the opportunity to connect with the members of your parish, but to make a donation to the church as well as make sure you sit down and have dinner as a family – at least once a week with our busy lifestyles.
- Have a “soup day.” Create a pot of soup and bread for a simple family meal, and as a reminder of the many people in the world who may only have that simple bowl of soup for their dinner.
- Cook together. Here’s a recipe for Cheesy Rotini Pasta or Garden Primavera Pasta. (If it has pasta I’m pretty sure my children will eat it.)
As you perform each task together as a family you can set the example for your children and others, as well as achieve the strength of your faith and convictions during the season of Lent. Hopefully, it will even carry over to family activities you can do throughout the year.