Taken from Karen Emisten's Blog: During Lent, we are called to "pray, fast and give." (See this document for more info.) In taking on additional prayer time, or attending daily Mass more often, or praying the Stations of the Cross, or other devotions such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, in fasting from festive food and drink, or from various entertainments or areas of excess, and in freely giving of our time and money, we see that it's not a matter of "either/or." We don't ask, "Should I pray more? Or should I fast from something? Or should I give of my time? Give away a few more dollars?"
To pray, to fast and to give are all intimately connected. Progress and growth in one area fuels further progress in the others.
This trinity is the foundation of a meaningful Lent. When I start there, good things happen.
The first time Lent came into my mind this year was while I was taking down the Christmas decorations. It is probably strange actually but there I was taking everything down and thinking how much we celebrate Advent & Christmas but Lent and Easter - the biggest feast in Christendom - not really.
So that really got me thinking, because I wish to give it the importance due. And as always I scoured the internet for ideas because outside Malta they get all these beautiful ideas and have come up with a plan for this year which if successful will be carried on for years to come.
The first thing I wanted to do was decorate the house just like we do for Christmas. So I have put up purple drapes and on it there is a lovely Crucifix and 14 candles. We will soon be adding to that a Lenten calendar (a picture of a lamb done in 40 squares and every day we glue some cotton wool to count down the days to Easter). Also a Jesus Tree; this was an interesting concept really. You either draw a tree without leaves or get a piece of wood with lots of branches and glue or hang paper ornaments which symbolise a story from the Bible you wish to share. Other decorations will also be on the way during our 40 days activities to remember that Jesus will be dying and resurrecting for the love of us. There will of course be additional daily praying at this time to help us grow and to strengthen our family.
Lent after all is a wonderful time to prepare ourselves, to go within ourselves, before the bursting of love and light into the resurrection and Spring.
Here are our 40 activities
decorate the house in Lenten symbols
do a crown of thorns
do a Lenten caterpillar
Make a sacrifice bin were everyone puts something in it only to be returned on Easter Sunday
bury the Hallelujah - explaining that during this season we do not sing it at Mass because it is considered an Easter word and that we come to appreciate more just how joyful this acclamation is after 40 days.
Temptation cookies - you bake some cookies while explaining the story of temptation of Jesus in the desert and teach them how we can be strong in face of temptation. Once cooked leave on the table but they must not touch them before the following day
memorise the Act of Contrition
say the Rosary
create an almsgiving box and put all change during Lent in it to give to a charity of our choice
light a candle in Church and dedicate it to someone
fill a bag with stuff from home to donate
learn an Easter song
learn about St Joseph on his feast day
Easter colouring page
make a kidney bean jar for acts of kindness
make a prayer chain including intentions/people to pray for and every day strip one out and pray on it
colour eggs and explain why they are part of Easter
go for an Adoration
do a cross with pics the children wish
plant Easter grass
do pretzels and explain their significance in Lent
visit a Church
browse in a Catholic book store
go for a daily Mass
cook a meatless meal and explain why we do so
watch an Easter film
do Karamelli tal Harrub
make a tomb scene
visit a cemetery
resurrection eggs (bought through ebay)
make an Easter basket
read the story of the last supper
visit petting farm and explain why Jesus is considered the sacrificial lamb
do resurrection cookies
go on a garden walk and explain the story of Gethsemane
go for a Good Friday procession
Visit an exhibition on Easter
for more information on these activities you can go here and here
I wish you all a wonderful Lenten experience