Sunday, February 7, 2016

Celebrating Ash Wednesday

"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

This Wednesday, February 10th, marks the beginning of the Lenten season for many Christians. It's hard to believe that Lent is already here. The Christmas season just ended for us. I'll admit I still need to take down the Christmas decorations. 

Ash Wednesday is an important day for us. It starts the Lenten season for us. Lent is a time of fasting and prayer. Ash Wednesday falls 46 days before Easter Sunday.  It's the time we can stop, take a closer look at our spiritual life, and draw closer to God. We focus on prayer and repentance. 

On Ash Wednesday, the priest places ashes on our foreheads in the shape of a cross. The priest says "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." The ashes represent the dirt that we were created from by God. The are an outward sign of our our penance. 

Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence of meat. As Catholics, we are required to abstain from meat on this day and fast. Fasting requires us to eat two small meals and one normal meal. No snacking in between meals.

Since Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, it's the day we start our sacrifices, give up whatever we have decided to, and focus on penance.

Every year, we do a sacrifice jar. 

Every time the kids make a small sacrifice or perform a good deed they get to place a bean into the jar. On Easter morning, the jar is "magically" turned into jellybeans.

This year, I plan on using an idea from Jen over at Faith and Fabric. The kids will fill out a Lent Promise Card. To help the kids focus on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, Jen has created the Lent Promise Card. I love how the kids can create their own posters. We can place them on the fridge for a daily reminder. Head on over and check it out. She has a free printable to make it super easy to do it with your kiddos.

We also put up our Jesus Tree. It's similar to a Jesse tree. It helps us stay focused on the Lenten season. We simply take a few tree branches and place them in a jar. We place ornaments that go along with bible stories and verses. Here is a beautiful set on Etsy. Our are just paper ornaments, but my goal this year is took make them with felt.

Of course, we do the Lenten Adventures every year!

The kids look forward to this every year and they have learned so much! You can sign up here.

More Ash Wednesday Lessons and Fun for the Kids

Want to learn on how we celebrate Lent. Be sure to click through and see my previous posts on Lent.
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