Ash Wednesday and Lent
Next week the students from Year 2 to 6 will join the parish for Mass on Ash Wednesday. This day marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is a special time of the year when we reflect on our baptismal promises and think about how we are living out Jesus’ mission in our home, school and community. It is a time when God invites us to become better people.
The students in Kinder to Year 1 will gather in the Church following Mass for their Ash Wednesday Liturgy.
The Season of Lent is a time in which we reflect on how we can have a change of heart. We reflect on this in special ways: by prayer; by giving to our brothers and sister in need and by fasting.
Lent and Children.
During the Season of Lent, the Church calls us to reflect on how we are living out our baptismal promises. We are drawn into a personal conversation with God on:
- How am I being a voice of love and joy in my home, my community?
- How have I been at the service of God’s word each day?
- Are others able to see and experience the love and forgiveness of God through my actions?
These questions are challenging at the best of times for adults. For children, we discuss Lent as a time to ‘Turn Back to God.’ It is a time of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Whilst prayer is something that children engage readily in, the notion of fasting and almsgiving can be a more distant and abstract concept for children to grasp. We need to make these Lenten practices more tangible.
I found the following great ideas on Pinterest and have included a few ideas here. Hopefully the following may provide some practical ways for families to engage in the Lenten Season at home.
- pray for a sibling or family member
- write a letter of thanks to someone you love
- pray for someone you dislike
- spend 5 minutes in quiet prayer as a family
- read a Bible story
- pray for those who have no one to pray for them
- fast from all screen time (tv, computer, video games, readers, iPhone, etc.)
- fast from saying anything negative
- fast from eating out
- fast from yelling
- fast from your favourite toy
- open the door for someone
- let someone go ahead of you in line
- do something anonymously for a friend or neighbour
- do a chore without being asked
- smile at three people you meet
- give someone a compliment
To make this fun for the children you could turn each into a card and draw one out at dinner time. This then becomes your thing to do for the next day. When dinner time comes around next day, each member can share how they went before drawing about a new thing to do!