We are a Catholic family and try to live liturgically throughout the year. I’m not as good at this as I want to be really. I have lots of ideas but few of them happen in reality due to time and inclination which is frustrating but I bank them to do the following year.
We have a few traditions that we’ve repeated for the past couple of years which are lovely and a way of cementing the importance of the season.
Here is what we do and what we wanted to do during lent and the lead up to Easter:
Make pancakes! We discuss why we make them and their significance and also what we are giving up in lent. Me and my husband gave up weekday television (in the evenings for us). The children are not expected to give up anything but off his own back, Joseph decided to not have biscuits. He followed this throughout and even when he was offered them he declined. Pretty good for a four year old.
I would of liked to have taken them to church to take part in the distribution of the ashes but church on my own with a four and two year old and a four month baby wasn’t really an option.
We talked about lent again. We set up a lent table (in the middle of the big table in the kitchen) with a purple cloth, candle and out Lenten journey. We counted the days and how long it would take to the ‘donkey day’ (Palm Sunday!)
Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday and I took the boys to mass. Alice is finding church hard at the moment and it is a long one on Palm Sunday as the Passion is read. We made the decision for her to stay at home for this one.
In the week I printed off a sequencing activity which we did a few times.
I also printed off a colour, cut and stick sequencing activity which is not something I’d normally do as I’m not a fan of the worksheet type activities but actually they really enjoyed it. We stuck them in a cross shape.
On the Thursday of Holy Week we wash each other’s feet after dinner. I love this tradition we’ve set up and the children really look forward to it. We read the bible extract of the Last Supper and then take turns being Jesus and washing someone’s feet. Even Jude joined in!
The plan was to make our own bread for dinner and have grape juice too but this didn’t happen but will do next year.
We have a simple slow day on the Friday. We don’t have treats and eat simple meals. We discuss what happened to Jesus, read the bible extract and we sequenced again.
We made Easter bonnets in anticipation of Easter Sunday.
I set up and decorated the table with gifts and a few small chocolate rabbits. We’ve made a decision not to do chocolate eggs but instead the children got a Holtztiger hare and calf (the start of a collection possibly!) a play silk from Sarah’s Silks and two books, ‘Marie Curie’ and ‘Where’s Bear?’
We dressed in our smarts and went to Mass complete with Easter bonnets!
In the evening we had a roast dinner and the day was spent at home together.
After reflecting on what we’ve done over lent and Easter, I can see that we did enough to mark the importance of the time in the church’s calendar and the children knew what was going on and why. I think next year as they get older o will incorporate a bit more into it but for now, actually, it was enough.