What will you sacrifice during Lent?

No chocolate, no sweets, no alcohol! What will you give up during Lent?

The timing may catch some people by surprise because Easter is early this year but in a week’s time we will be celebrating Ash Wednesday. During the 40 days of Lent, there are many activities that families can do as they prepare for Easter at the end of March.


There are prayers, activities, and projects to help strengthen your spiritual growth, and to help forge a closer relationship with one another and Jesus. While many Lenten activities revolve around prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, here are some other ideas that your family may enjoy!


Make a cross: This simple and inexpensive craft is a great way to work together as a family to create something special. Using things only found in nature, such as sticks or rocks, create a cross in the ground or glue to a piece of cardboard. Discuss with your children why the cross is such an important symbol of Easter.


Learn a song: If your family loves music, you can learn various Easter songs or hymns. Learning a new song can be a fun experience. Taking up this activity at the start of Lent will give your family plenty of time to learn songs before Easter.


An act of kindness: Together as a family, you can decide if there is anything you can donate or give to another person, group, or family. You can collect old toys that are no longer used and donate them to a local charity. Or donate old clothes or go shopping for groceries for a local food bank.


Pray for a stranger: As we said in last week’s newsletter many families have been affected by cancer. They are often in our prayers but why not also pray for someone you don’t know personally? If you are struggling to think of someone as a family, go online and search for a person (famous or a virtual unknown) who is stricken with an illness!


Organise a scavenger hunt: Give each child an Easter basket, bag, or bucket and tell them to go around the house and collect items that remind them of Lent and Easter. Items could be a cross, a palm, a coin – anything they can think of.  


Forgo a treat: Giving something up for Lent is a common tradition for many people. But it’s important to teach children why we do this. Lent is about sacrifice and self-discipline. This is one way for us to practice Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Allow each member of the family to select what they would like to give up … even if it’s just for a day. It could be no lollies or chocolates, not watching TV, or putting their smart phone away. For adults it may be going without an alcoholic drink.


It’s a small price to pay when you consider that Jesus suffered for us on the cross.


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