Family Liturgies

Practicing Lent

True, we’re already a little ways into Lent. Maybe you’re feeling it deeply already; maybe not. In place of our usual Family Liturgy today, here are a couple of links to ideas that can involve the whole family in a meaningful – but totally do-able – observance of this season.

Traci Smith has created this Lenten Calendar inviting families to engage with the traditional pillars of Lent – prayer, fasting, and service – while offering concrete ideas for just how to make those seemingly unfriendly-to-kids ideas accessible. The days marked for prayer encourage centering thoughts and words around themes like hope, giving, journey; the days marked for fasting encourage disciplines like “drink only water today” or “no TV or screens today”; and the days marked for service offer ideas like “invite someone to your house for dinner” or “deliver dog or cat food to an animal shelter.” Check out the full calendar here.

Do you know Praying in Color? It’s Sybil MacBeth’s great work that makes prayer possible – even enjoyable – for those of us who have trouble focusing, keeping our hands still, our minds centered… She’s created prayer templates for Lent that start out as blank shapes and invite you and your family to fill them in with color, with more shapes, with names and places and situations that you hold in your hearts. She lists lots of ideas for how to fill in the shapes – including just doodling in silence, and listening for the voice of God – and even offers different styles, so you can choose whether circles or rectangles or a variety of shapes speak more to your spirit. Check out your options here.

Si Smith created forty evocative drawings of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. They’re put to music in this five-minute video, but the story is told through the images. It might be interesting to watch with your kids, and ask what “story” they see being told through the images. If they were to illustrate the same story (Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4), where would their drawings mirror this artist’s? What details would they add to their pictures? What colors? If the whole story could be told in just a few of the images, instead of all forty, which ones would they be? Find the video here.

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What is your family doing to mark this season? What has been meaningful to you, and to your kids? What are your kids teaching you about Lent? Share in the comments below.

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One thought on “Practicing Lent

  1. Thank you! This is very helpful! I love the lenten calendar, and wish I would have found this before I decided on the lenten discipline for my family. We’ve given up sweets and/or candy. We follow the Sundays are free model, and I think I’ve just basically taught my kids how to binge! Yikes!

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