Easter is late this year, not until April 24th. And so the season of Lent begins in March. Shrove Tuesday is March 8, and Ash Wednesday is March 9. I want to do some special things with our family to observe both Lent and the fifty days after Easter which constitute the Easter feast that lasts from Easter until Pentecost Sunday, June 12.
The following ideas for Lent come from:
Lenten Links: Resources for a Post-Evangelical Lent.
One deep drawer: Observing Lent with our families
10 Lenten Traditions to Enrich Your Family’s Easter Celebration by Barbara Curtis
At a Hen’s Pace: An Anglican Family Lent.
Recommended Reading for Lent at Conversion Diary.
1. Make doughnuts or some other deep-fried treat on Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday.
2. Learn a new song. a song that points to spring coming and new life sprouting.
3. Go for a walk every day. I once knew of a homeschooling family who put a pot of soup on to simmer for lunch and headed out for a walk each day, no matter what the weather.
4. Make a nature almanac recording what you see on your walks.
5. Learn a new prayer to say at meals.
6. Give up meat as a family. or sugar. Give the money to an organization like Heifer.
7. Change your seasonal table or altar. Add a bowl of water to be the waters of life, or a tray of sand to be the 40 years in the desert, our own long journey, our dustiness.
8. Sprout something. Grow something. Plant something.
9. Make bread. to go along with the soup.
10. Celebrate National Poetry Month (April) with a poem a day.
11. Wear purple, the traditional color of Lent, to keep you mindful.
12. Light candles at meals. Turn off the electric light. Enjoy the darkness.
13. Observe silence even for a few moments each day at the same time.
14. Memorize an Easter passage of Scripture as a family. Suggestions: one of the Psalms,
15. Celebrate Purim, March 20-21. Read the book of Esther aloud.
16. Celebrate Passover, April 19-25.
17. Post Bible verses, especially the words of Jesus, on the refrigerator, bathroom mirrors, wherever a busy family is sure to see them.
18. Bake your own pretzels. Pretzels originated as early Christian Lenten treats, designed in the form of arms crossed in prayer.
19. In Matthew 12:39-41, Jesus points to the story of Jonah as a sign of his own destiny. So this is a great time to review it with your children, discussing the issues of sin, obedience, and God’s mercy.
20. Read books together as a family or alone to lead you into Easter Resurrection celebration. Books for Lent to lead you into Resurrection.
21. Read the Church Fathers during Lent.
22. Practice confession, asking God to search our hearts and point out those things in our lives that need to change.
23. Fast on Fridays or fast from meat on Fridays.
24. Decide as a family on one thing that is distracting your family from following God fully, and take that one thing out of your family life at least for the duration of Lent.
25. Participate in World Vision’s Relentless Acts of Justice.
26. Pray and read the Bible daily.