One of the ways that parents can encourage faith formation at home is by observing simple rituals of faith related to church seasons. Many families use an Advent wreath or calendar during the four weeks leading up to Christmas. The six weeks prior to Easter, during Lent, also have some rich opportunities to add faith practices as a family. Try downloading and using this Lenten Practices Calendar (from traci-smith.com) at home this year. (Copies of the calendar are also available at church on the Sunday School tables.)
Each day includes one idea that rotates between Prayer [P], Fasting [F] and Almsgiving/Service [S]. You can simply read the activity for each day, or set up a special place at home for the family to use as a visual reminder of Lent until Easter. To set up a Lent Prayer space at home, gather a few simple items. Include a cross, an empty bowl, blank paper and colored pencils, pens or crayons, and the calendar.
Each day, read the activity idea for that day.
[P] On prayer days, use the word provided to inspire a prayer you write, draw, say or sing. Use the paper at the prayer space if you like. Or, during the day, look for a picture to take that reminds you of that word, for a prayer photo. Want a hashtag to use to share it? #mppclent2015
[F] On fasting days, put something in the empty bowl to remind you of what you are giving up for the day. Remember that Christians have always fasted in order to have more time and space to give to God. How can you use the time or activity change for the day to spend that time with God instead?
[S] On service days, talk as a family together about your ideas, and help one another follow through.
If you miss a day, or slip up on a fast day, don’t ditch the whole project. There is always grace!
The calendar begins with Ash Wednesday, February 18th, and suggests praying using the word HOPE. Remember also that we have Ash Wednesday worship at church at 7 am in the chapel, and 6:30 pm in the sanctuary. Children are welcome.
Enjoy the time as a family as you prepare for Easter.