As we prepare to observe the season of Lent, I thought I would share some of what we are hoping to do and some resources for helping us along the journey towards Easter.
This idea comes from the Shower of Roses blog - - Here is the link to Jessica's website that has the symbols complete with readings and coloring pages. Be sure to check it out - - here. While there check out her other ideas for observing Lent in your Domestic Church!
Also check out some ideas over at Catholic Icing. She has a neat Almsgiving idea that would work great for counting down the days.
Holy Heroes also has a Lenten Adventure. You can sign up for their e-mails here.
Stations of the Cross Resources:
At Catholic Mom's Helper - there is a full-color booklet available that is beautiful.
Coloring pages for each station - - these beautifully drawn pages are great to color! There are also some other great looking pages here made available at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church website.
Catholic Mom has a nice coloring book also for stations at this link.
I loved making the Stations Grotto kit available at Illuminated Ink. I also liked their Passion Play Kit. All worth making.
One of the most moving Stations that I have listened to is by Laura Baronski and Quiet Waters Production - - it is a sung version on CD. Just beautiful. I keep our copy in the car so that I can listen to it on Fridays during Lent. You can find it here. I haven't heard their Rosary cd's yet, but I have heard great things about them.
Quite a few years ago, as part of a Lenten Workshop, we made Stations of the Cross boxes that are similar to these. These are really nice for young children and gives them something concrete to hold onto during Stations. Thanks, Cherished Hearts at Home Blog, for reminding me!
Some things that we have added to our Lent this year - -
While at church a few weeks back, a dear lady approached me and asked if we had done the Preparation for Consecration to Mary according to St. Louis de Montfort. She handed us a book and the next start date was March 26th. So this was added to our nightly Bible reading and Rosary. We are now in the Fourth Week and preparing for Consecration on April 28th. God has a way of letting us know that this was for us, since the kids were scheduled to serve daily Mass on the 28th. Hmmmmm. In the book, they suggest renewing your consecration yearly by going through the preparation on your anniversary, so we will probably be doing this yearly.
In addition, we have added a new tradition of making Pysanky Eggs. The process is much easier (note key word process) than I had anticipated and the supplies are not as expensive as you might imagine. The dyes store for a long time and can be reused. Not sure how long and the packaging suggested 6 months to a year. I have an e-mail out to a friend to see if they can store longer. Check out www.learnpysanky.com for information about this neat Ukranian folk art. In addition, check out the following books:
It's Holy Week, which means we are looking more and more forward to Easter. Towards the end of Lent, it is both easier and harder to fulfill those Lenten obligations. Easier because the austerity of Lent has simplified things a bit and have allowed us to not wish for what we gave up. Harder because, since we are looking forward, it seems as if the end is in sight and the desire for what we gave up can become more intense. In addition, with all of the planning for Easter,
We are planning a few things to celebrate Easter. What is nice about Easter is that while we do celebrate mostly on Easter Sunday, Easter is a season, not just a day. The Easter Season lasts for 50 days, longer than the marshallow Peeps, the chocolate bunny (although I will say, when I was a kid, the chocolate bunny seemed to last a long time), and the jelly beans.
As part of our Easter, we always do an egg hunt. This year, we will do so again. We will also use some of the ideas found at the Catholic Icing blog - - notably the Resurrection Rolls.
Since I made the Calvary play set, it will turn into the Resurrection playset during Easter. The cross on top will be replaced with an angel. Jesus will be removed from the tomb and make "appearances" to his disciples. If I hadn't gotten this made, I would definitely be making the printable one from Catholic Icing.
You can also make an Easter Candle - - there are various of ways to do this. I have seen everything from making a printout that would be taped to a sanctuary candle to carving a candle and painting to rolling your own beeswax candle. We have painted candle before, and I have purchased the beeswax sheets, but they are honeycombed and it would be hard to paint anything on it. This may be a project for next year.
Hope this inspires your Easter -- and remember like Christmas, Lent and Easter are seasons.
During Lent, we did a good job of keeping up with the nightly readings for our Jesus Tree. I thought that perhaps we could turn this into a liturgical year type of activity. During the time from Easter to Pentecost, there are around 14 readings, which breaks down into two readings per week. I took the readings, assigned a symbol for each reading, and thought that we could stack them, sort of like layers of a cake and put a candle on the top for Pentecost, since it is the birthday of the Church!
You can find the instructions, readings and symbols at the following links:
Page 1: Instructions
Page 2: Week 1 - 3
Page 3: Week 4 - 6
Page 4: Week 7
I am working on something different for Ordinary Time, perhaps focusing on the parables. I think I found 24 distinct parables in the Gospels! I just want to check and double check and work on the end project before I share. I hope to be done before Pentecost. This will be posted under a new tab for Ordinary Time, which begins after Penecost Sunday.