Friday, February 24, 2012

These Forty Days

This past Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent.  We have done a few activities to help us prepare for this season.  We changed our table centerpiece just a bit.  We added the color purple and a Catholic Relief Service Rice Bowl, along with 2 small wooden crosses that were handed out at Mass on Ash Wednesday.  We decided what each of us would be doing to ready our hearts in preparation for Easter.  Monkey Toes is giving up caffeine.  I am fasting at least one day a week.  The kids have chosen to give up something different each week of Lent.  Currently, they are "fasting" from Power Rangers.  Trust me when I tell you that it is truly a sacrifice for them!  We will also look for ways to spend more time in prayer (i.e. Stations of the Cross, praying the Rosary more frequently, etc).  I love this opportunity for our family to spiritually journey together towards the Paschal Mystery. 

Wednesday evening each of the kids crafted their own Crown of Thorns.  The ideas came from  Just a side note - I love this website.  "Lacy"  is extremely creative and I love how each craft is purposeful.  It is worth checking out.  Each of the kids rolled two ropes of craft dough and then twisted them together.

I then gave each of them 40 "thorns" to place in their crowns.

They look great!

Every night during our family prayer, each child has the opportunity to share a good or kind deed they accomplished that day, or a sacrifice they may have made.  They then get to remove one thorn.  The goal is to have all the thorns removed by Easter.  I would like to surprise them with something on Easter morning, symbolically tied to this activity.  I'll have to give it some more thought.

The following was attached to our church bulletin this past week.  It is a good reminder of why we do what we do during Lent.
Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance.  It is a season for reflection and taking stock.  Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism.  By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus' withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. 

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