Lent is almost upon us! It’s very early this year beginning a week from today, Ash Wednesday. This season of the liturgical year is represented by the color purple: the color of the bruised heart. This is the uncomfortable time preceding Easter when we remove distractions, focus on spiritual formation, and take an honest look at ourselves in order that we might prepare our hearts.
Here’s a few Lenten traditions we’re planning to incorporate into our lives during this season:
- Cover our crucifixes with purple fabric. I let our preschooler find all the crucifixes and crosses in the house and help me do this on Ash Wednesday.
- Display our “Crown of Thorns” grapevine wreath on our table.
- Attend daily Mass more often. Hopefully we can do the 7am as a family because wrangling both kids in Mass while Daniel is at work is a Herculean effort for this pregnant gal.
- Commit to a daily Rosary. I’ve improved my previously abysmal record of praying a daily Rosary since I made it one of my goals for 2013, but making a firm commitment would be a good Lenten discipline. Also, I’d like to begin praying a decade each evening as a family devotion.
- Learn a new prayer. We learned the St. Andrew prayer during Advent (in fact, I think Benjamin knew it better than Daniel or I by Christmas Day) and I’ve been trying to decide which one we should tackle next as a family. The Memorare?
- Read selections from Bread and Wine: Readings for Easter and Lent. Like Watch for the Light (the Advent version), I’m expecting this one to have some amazing selections and so ho hum ones that I can skip over. In past years, I’ve really enjoyed reading Signs of Life by Scott Hahn since it has 40 chapters (handy for the 40 days of Lent, right?) and it’s amazing. You can also peruse my Big Ol’ Catholic Reading List for ideas for other devotional texts.
- Commit to a Friday evening Mass to attend with Daniel as part of our weekly “date night.”
- Look for ways to serve. Making meals for elderly parishioners and helping the kids make encouraging cards for friends and family came to mind. How does your family tackle this element of the lenten season?
- Go to Confession. This deserves it’s own post, coming soon.
- Go to adoration with the kids. Daniel and I each have a holy hour but we haven’t done a good job of introducing the kids to adoration and there’s really no excuse since our parish has a chapel of perpetual adoration!
- Stations of the Cross
- Abstaining from meat on Fridays
Usually I choose a certain favorite food to give up as part of my lenten discipline, but since I have been so unbelievably ill this pregnancy, I don’t think it’s a great idea to commit to giving up food items (except for meat on Fridays). I am interested in doing some unplugging from technology but I want to keep maintaining this space, so I’m not sure what that would look like. Any ideas?
Other Lenten Resources: (I’ll be spending some time re-reading these posts in the next week)
Lent is long, folks. Don’t forget to make time for a little of this on Mardi Gras:
How we’re going to manage a gluten-free King Cake for our allergic little Benjamin is a bit beyond me…any suggestions?