My first Lent


#1

This year will be the very first time my family and I practice Lent.

I come from a Baptist background. Even though Easter was a special day, we really had no forty days leading up to it, no special, somber period. This is all new to me.

I am reading a book called The Catholic Home by Meridith Gould. It is an excellent book that details several Catholic traditions from many different countries.

I was wondering, what do you do with your family-especially the little ones to make Lent have more meaning for them. What are some of your family traditions?


#2

[quote=deb1]This year will be the very first time my family and I practice Lent.

I come from a Baptist background. Even though Easter was a special day, we really had no forty days leading up to it, no special, somber period. This is all new to me.

I am reading a book called The Catholic Home by Meridith Gould. It is an excellent book that details several Catholic traditions from many different countries.

I was wondering, what do you do with your family-especially the little ones to make Lent have more meaning for them. What are some of your family traditions?
[/quote]

One of our traditions is giving up meat for Lent. Not just on Friday’s, but for the entire Lenten season.


#3

in our children’s and grandchildren’s Catholic schools they received a presentation on Catholic Relief Services (formerly the Bishops’ oversees relief fund) at the beginning of Lent, did several activities to raise money, and came home with paper “rice bowls” a cardboard bank to put on the dinner table.

It is called Operation Rice Bowl, and the idea is that the family and children together will find a way to sacrifice something during Lent and put the money saved in the Rice Bowl. These are part of the collection at Easter for CRS, which is the overseas relief effort of the US bishops. Ideas are to forego renting a video or going to a movie, skip a meal or eat sandwiches instead of a big meal, put the money saved from whatever the family “gives up” for Lent, such as sodas or snacks.

Older children have a Souper Sunday or weekend fasting retreat to raise money and to hear some teaching about poverty, world hunger etc. CRS has all the materials for Operation Rice Bowl and will send them free to any school or CCD program that requests it.


#4

We give up meat the entire Lent, not just Fridays. :slight_smile: Fish is okay according to the Church.

My husband and I also pick something else to give up. Hubby usually does all carbonated beverage (it’s tough on him, because he is a CocaCola guy).


#5

I had a Baptist aunt who kept a “swear” jar in her house year round. I adapted it to use during Lent, for any bad habit or activity that could be “given up”. Charge reasonably by age. Give the proceeds to Rice Bowl or some other worthy charity.


#6

I converted several years ago. I too was raised with a big ta-doo about Easter, but never any mention of Lent.

I have come to love the Lenten season…more so then the Christmas season.

Our family always attends at least one reading of the Stations of the Cross. I usually sacrifice something, not usually food since I do that often (dieting) and I don’t really consider it a sacrifice for the right reasons. My children usually give up something…soda, candy etc. My husband (he’s not Catholic) does follow the “no meat on Friday” rule. My kids are older now, and not home so much, but when they were younger we would get the book given out by the church and read passages at the dinner table then discuss it.

We live in Maryland, and there is an old Catholic Church in a place called Harper’s Ferry. For several years now, we’ve gone there on Good Friday. You have to climb a ways up to the chuch. It’s small and very old. There is a huge crucifix and the body of the Lord is displayed beaten and bloody. You can kneel in front of it and just contemplate his Passion.

Recently, I’ve included watching the movie, The Passion, during Lent.

I attend Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil. My kids (young adults) aren’t as keen on 3 days in a row…but I love it. I think it’s the holiest time of the year and such a great opportunity to deepen your relationship with Christ.


#7

I do Tenebrae, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday (the Liturgy in the afternoon and stations in the evening). I don’t think my kids are quite ready for the Easter Vigil. Maybe next year.


#8

Deb,

Congratulations on becoming Catholic. If you are entering the church this Easter Vigil just be aware that it will be the longest mass of the year and not really fun for younger children. At our church they usually pass right out or start fussing big time.

Our parish has a deacon lead the Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent, so maybe something like that is available near you. My first Lent I became a committed adorer by choosing a specific hour each week to sit with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It is a very special quiet time that takes away all of the stress in the world. Even if your parish does not have adoration all of the time where our Lord is exposed on an altar perhaps they have holy hours at specific times during the week that you can attend?

When I was a kid my mother made the meatless Fridays interesting by doing things like letting us have breakfast for dinner with something like pancakes or waffles and fruit. We also spent some Thursday evenings talking and sorting dried beans to soak for bean soup for Friday. We had that with corn bread and/or greens. (Definitely a southern thing). Mom let us help think up meatless meals, so it was a more conscious sacrifice than just showing up to eat whatever she fixed.


#9

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