Here are some ways to celebrate Lent with your children:

Say Farewell to the Alleluia

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    Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight has a wonderful post on celebrating Ash Wednesday. One of the crafts she made this year is saying farewell to the Alleluia. I really love her craft. It is so beautiful.

    Here is our attempt at this wonderful tradition. This is a great Lenten activity to make with the children.

    I bought wooden letters and a paperboard box and spray painted them gold. Then the kids glued some glittery flowers on them. This is our Alleluia before we put it away:

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    Here is the box with the Alleluia wrapped in purple tissue paper. We will open the box on Easter morning to reveal the Alleluia, which we will display during the fifty days of Easter.

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    The box will sit on our altar until then.

Shrouding Sacred Statues and Pictures

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  • Count your statues and holy pictures, then cut strips of purple cloth and use as shrouds on Passion Sunday, just as the shrouds are used in church. This reminds us that with the arrival of Passion Sunday, the last most solemn and sorrowful weeks of Lent have begun.
Crown of Thorns
 
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  • This year we are using a wreath from the local craft store. I think it looks more realistic than the salt dough crown.
  • Salt dough recipe. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5-10 minutes until satiny smooth. This prevents cracking and uneven baking. Divide into three equal sections and make three ropes. Braid the three ropes and form into a circle to form the crown of thorns. Place toothpicks around crown .After molding, bake at 300 for 30-40 minutes. Check often. Apply color by using paste food coloring mixed with eggwhites before baking for a golden brown finish.

The Stations of the Cross  

  • I came up with this craft a few years ago and wanted to share it again this year. This 14 Stations of the Cross votive candle holder is very easy to make with your children and also inexpensive. The total cost was about $12.00.
  • I started with a piece of wood about 2 1/2 feet long and hot glued 14 glass votive candles on it.

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    Then I printed these black and white images of the 14 Stations of the Cross. The kids cut them and used a glue stick to paste them on the glass votives.

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    We light all 14 candles. After we read each station, we blow out a candle, and when we get to the last station, the room is dark and somber. It has made meditating on the stations very real to us.

Resurrection Eggs
   
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  • Lead your kids on a fun, faith-filled Easter egg hunt this year–one that will teach them about Jesus' death and resurrection! Each egg carton is filled with a dozen colorful plastic eggs with miniature symbols of the Easter story hidden inside. These items symbolize events in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. You'll find a donkey, three coins, a cup, praying hands, a leather strip, a crown of thorns, nails, a die, a spear, linen/gauze, and a stone, as well as one empty egg, representing the empty tomb.

Lenten Sacrifice Beads:

  • Draw a cross on the poster-board.
    Explain that purple is a color for royalty, for Christ is our risen King. Every time a child does an act of charity, penance, or alms, he/she will receive a bead to place in the jar. Every week in Lent, glue all the week's beads onto the poster, filling in the cross. This shows that we are all helping Jesus to carry His cross. Each bead helps Jesus carry the cross and helps us prepare for Good Friday and Christ's Passion.
    Supplies:
    1 bag purple beads
    1 large poster board
    1 jar to display on altar
Easter Story Cookies
  • To be made the night before Easter. This recipe is to be made with children, to help illustrate the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Do this on Holy Saturday evening, before the Easter Vigil Mass. These are meringue cookies. The oven will be hot, even though you turn it off for the night, to allow the cookies to rise and become hollow.
Lent reading for children:

There are many resources to help Catholic families celebrate the holy season of Lent. I have been gathering these for many years. Here are some links that have been very helpful to me:

Meatless Recipes:

Lent Activity Books:

Catholic Lent activities for the family:

Devotions for Lent

EWTN Reflection.

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