Lent is upon us so I thought I would try to share some ideas for meaningful Lenten activities. You can pick just a few suggestions from this list of course — I leave it up to you, but I do urge you to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you choose what you will do! (I am actually writing this as our family is experiencing an early “Lent-of-sorts”, with one child after another falling ill — see my Instagram post below! — I initially thought that I shouldn’t even bother doing it, but I could not help it. I feel this needs to be written!)
So it seems the virus is not sparing any of the kids! The two older ones are down now, too.😕 Offering it all up because compared to what You went through for us, this is nothing, Lord! 🙌 What perfect timing because Lent begins tomorrow! And can I just say that I am still #TrulyRichandBlessed because I have a super supportive and caring husband who is helping me care for the kids?!💑 Especially since I am not feeling 100% OK too. 😷 And praise God for the helper He sent our way via my Mama's insistence and guidance — she has been a huge help too! Also, for the love and support of family and dear friends. 💙And of course, we thank God for all our prayer warriors — praise God for you all! Praying for everyone who needs healing in mind, body, spirit and all other aspects! By His wounds, we are healed! 🙏 #CountYourBlessings #Lent #TRBFaith
Anyway, here is the list of suggested Lenten activities:
1. BEFORE Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, bury or hide the Alleluia.
2. BEFORE Lent begins, decide as a family or on your own what you will “give up”/abstain from/fast from during Lent. (We did this last weekend. If it’s already Lent by the time you read this post, you can still do this. It’s never too late!)
3. Related to No. 2, if you have kids, talk about WHY we Catholics observe fasting and abstinence during Lent. Since fasting and abstinence apply to only certain people, “giving up” something we enjoy/like is an activity kids can do even if they are not required to fast.
4. “Decorate” for Lent: Use purple cloth (or, in our case, crepe paper 😉 ) to cover the altar/s in your home. Use a cruficix as the “centerpiece” for your altar/s to emphasize that Lent is all about Jesus’ crucifixion, death and resurrection. (Take a peek at how we did this 4 years ago. Admittedly, that was the ONLY year I went “all-out” in decorating for Lent! 🙂 I don’t know if I have the time nor energy to do it this year, given our current situation. Let’s see!)
5. Print this to help you get started on “easy” Lenten activities.
6. If you have kids, you can also print this Lenten calendar to help them count down to Easter.
7. Go to Mass on Ash Wednesday.
8. Read the Bible passage about Jesus’ 40 days in the desert.
9. Make (and use!) a Lenten cross…
10. …or a Now cross. Either is a good way to remind us of the true meaning of Lent.
11. Use a Family Chart to track your family’s progress during Lent.
12. Intentionally do at least ONE good deed every day during Lent (and beyond!).
13. Intentionally make at least ONE sacrifice every day during Lent (and beyond!). (We’ve done sacrifice beans before to help the kids remember to do this.)
14. Involve other family members in your Lenten plans — you can find great ideas for Lenten activities for kids here.
15. Consider making a Lenten scrapbook.
16. Make an almsgiving box and use it to bless others. (Use Google for more ideas on how to do this!)
17. Learn about the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary in relation to Lent.
18. Pray these Mysteries as a family and/or on your own. If you have young kids, you might want to start with praying a decade first.
19. Set aside time daily for personal prayer. If you already do this, add extra prayers to your routine.
20. Related to no. 19, if you have kids and they are old enough, encourage them to do the same. (We are hoping our older kids can be consistent in praying independently starting this year. Lent is the perfect time to start teaching/encouraging them to do so, don’t you think?)
21. Go to a weekday Mass, i.e. go to Mass on one day during the week in addition to regular Sunday Mass. If you can, go to daily Mass — and how privileged you are if you can do so!
22. Pray the Stations of the Cross.
23. If you have kids, teach them how to do No. 22 by using resources from the Internet. You can start here if you want.
24. Make a heartfelt Examination of Conscience… ideally, in preparation for no. 25 (see below).
25. Go to Confession. If you have older kids who can do so too, bring them along with you. And bring the younger ones too, so they can learn firsthand about the beauty of this Sacrament! (I’ve actually gone to confession a few times with a baby in tow, or a preschooler, who usually just listens quietly while I confess my sins to the priest! 😉 )
26. Join a Lenten retreat or recollection. Parishes usually hold this but you can also join retreats online. Loyola Press has one, as does Creighton University. Locally, Pins of Light usually has online Lenten retreats every year.
27. Learn a Lenten hymn. Here is one suggestion, though you can try listening to the playlist below for more ideas (it’s one of my favorites for Lent; been listening to it for the past few years!):
28. Read and/or memorize one (or all!) of the Seven Penitential Psalms. (Note to self: Include this in our homeschool routine for Lent!)
30. Learn and practice the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.
31. Pray the Divine Mercy chaplet as a family.
32. Make meatless meals.
33. Volunteer somewhere as a family.
34. Give out sandwiches and drinks to streetkids. (We’ve done this a few times before and the kids still remember it!)
35. Set aside time for Scripture reading and reflection. Do this alone and with your family, whether you’re married or not. (If you’re single, try doing it with those you share the same home with.)
36. For those with kids in their homes/lives, the Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure is an easy, inspiring way to observe Lent.
37. For the 40 days of Lent, choose one person or group of persons to pray for. E.g. Day 1: The sick, Day 2: The victims of war, etc.
38. Watch Lent-related movies. Yes, I know less screen time is the ideal for Lent but you can still reflect a lot on the reason behind Lent while watching a good movie. Check here and here for some movie suggestions. (D0 note that some titles might not be suitable for kids.)
40. Make plans for celebrating Easter, the most important feast in the Liturgical Calendar. It lasts for 50 days, so there is plenty of time to celebrate!
And there you have it. Whew! Praise God, I didn’t think I would be able to finish this post. Anyway, like I said, it’s up to you how you want to use this list. I just pray that you and your loved ones will be blessed by it somehow, and that your Lent will be very meaningful. Praying the same for me and my family! God bless us all!
Did you find this post useful for having a more meaningful Lenten season? If so, please do share it with others!