Hi peoples! I really would love to hear what you do for Lent/Easter...I want my children to understand its importance!
Something we can do as tradition.
My kids are almost 3 and 5 btw. :)
What is your faith tradition?
In my family- we attend Mass on Ash Wednesday. I fast while DD eats meatless. Fridays are meatless/fish days, and I also fast on Fridays. Wednesdays are also fasting days, for me. Since DD is under 14, she is not bound to fast.
Since DD is now 6, I am introducing a sort of Examination of Conscience before bed.
We also give something up. This year, we are vastly reducing our screen time with the TV. (platypus day on disney made me realize just how much TV we watch!).
I am hoping to get DD to Stations of the Cross sometime this Lent.
Domestic-Church.com is a really awesome site with lots of links!
I am hoping to begin some sort of Liturgical Year thing with DD starting in Advent (new liturgical year!)
Since Lent is also a traditional time for giving more to the poor, how about setting up a box to fill with nonperishable food over the course of Lent and then give to a food pantry? You can buy a few extra things each time you go shopping and let your little ones put them in the box. Matthew 25:35-40 would be good to discuss with them, too.
We are believers in Jesus...not Catholic although that is where I go for tradition and ritual which I enjoy teaching to my children. (ETA: I know Catholics love Jesus as well...we're just not that denomination)
These sites have been great! i love the symbolic easter cookie recipe and how they are hollow when they get them out of the oven (tomb) in the morning...excellent!
I am exploring the icing blog thouroughly. fabulous.
DH is Christian and I am Buddhist but we both use Lent as a period of deeper reflection. DH has given up alcohol and I am concentrating on the idea of "right speech"--refraining from speaking if what I have to say is not true, kind and helpful. We explained a few days ago to DD what we were doing and why and she spontaneously offered up giving up TV for today (Ash Wednesday).
As a Church here is what we do for Lent:
Fasting: We give up all meat (including fish) dairy, eggs, wine (some give up all alcohol) and olive oil (some give up all oil and oil products). We can have invertebrate sea food though. We are expected to eat simply and eat just enough to sustain us.his is On days we have liturgy we are expected to completely fast from all food and beverage until communion. This would be every Sunday morning, Wednesday all day and several other days throughout Lent. Married couples give up sex.
alms giving: we are expected to step up our giving to the poor
prayer: we are expected to pray more and be in church more. For example we had a couple of hours of church every night this week.
Confession: if you go at no other time during the year you must at least go during Lent.
How I include my children (who are 8, 10, and 14 but we started at least three years ago)
They are expected to keep the full fast as much as they can. I allow them to have cheese and yogurt occasionally but no "fun" dairy such as milk chocolate, ice cream or flavored milk. Some days I just can't make them a lunch so they eat hot lunch. They also are allowed to eat whatever grandma or dad serves. Asa rule children are not expected to keep the full fast but if you don't start them young it will be older to get them in on it when they are older. We do have an advantage as we used to be vegan so I am not convince children need milk or meat or eggs. I do find it easier.
They attend at least part of the church services (they are allowed to sit in the narthex for half and do homework if they need to.)
Since we do not east meat or dairy during the fast I turned my kids loose on the pantry and they cleaned out anything that has meat or dairy and took it to the food pantry at church. For my Sunday school kids (3-8) I was going to get them M&M mini tubes. As they ate the candy they were going to decorate the tubes and Mission Money banks. $10 worth of quarters fit perfectly in this. And with 40 days of Lent if you put a quarter in every day it would be full by the end of lent. I thought this would be a fun way for them to experience alms giving.
My children go to confession regularly but I expect them to go at least twice during Lent. I have a great book called "The Path to Confession" which does a really good job of helping children (as well as adults) dig deep and uncover areas of sin in their life. Even if you do not confess this is a great book to read for digging deeper. It is geared towards children about 0 and up I would say. It has been translated from Russian and does not sugar coat things though. I think some parents would find it kinda harsh.