Lenten Family Gathering

This past Wednesday we brought parents and their kids together for a faith formation night on Lent.  It was very well received.

We began by having a skit about going on a journey.  One person brought way to much for the journey in their backpack (xbox, dictionary, radio, cell phone, ipad, dozens and dozens of wash clothes and more. The other person packed more simply with a Bible, a Rosary and a fish (symbolizing fish on Fridays).  The feedback we received was that it was funny and very concerete for the kids and parents.

Then we broke everyone into 9 groups and rotated to 9 different stations where they spent 5 minutes at each station exploring different things they could do to make this Lent a special one.  Here a list of things we did:

  1. Holy Water and a font (explained the power of Holy Water and gave them a bottle of it and a font for their home)
  2. Lenten Calendar
  3. Morning Prayer – they were given four prayers that they can choose from as a way to begin their day with God (prayer of St. Patrick, Prayer by St. Augustine on the Holy Spirit, Traditional morning offering and the fragrance prayer).
  4. Evening Prayer – We gave them Pope Francis’ 5 finger prayer and encouraged them to think of it at the end of the day.
  5. A Rock – We gave everyone a small polished rock as a reminder of how God is our rock and strength (Psalm 62).  The rock was also a reminder to pray when they see it.
  6. A journal – All were encouraged to use it as a way to write down their thoughts, things they are thankful for, and reflections on their Bible reading, etc.
  7. A Bible – we talked about how to open the Bible and take time to pray with it during Lent.
  8. We had a cross activity where they were encouraged to decorate it and have it be a reminder of Christ’s death for them.
  9. Lenten Chain – Ideas for each day of Lent were given to live out the disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

It was a great night.  Through the involvement of parents, the whole family was inspired to consider various practices that contribute to leading them closer to Christ during Lent.  Family involvement is vital today in our catechetical ministry.  As a catechetical leader I’m always trying to find ways to involve parents so they can be engaged and grow in their calling to live out their vocation as the first heralds of the Gospel.

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