Designed for families, Sadlier’s Lenten Calendar offers a Scripture passage for reflection and a suggestion for an action, prayer, or contemplation for each day of the Lenten season. Download the 2021 Lenten Calendar and share it with the families in your religious education program.
To further help families prepare for the season of Lent, download a special Lenten Preparation Checklist for Families. This checklist can be distributed to families to help them to prepare and to observe the season of Lent in their homes and in their daily practices. The resource offers ideas for how to talk to children about Lent and helps families to prepare hearts and homes for a fruitful Lenten journey.
Within the three traditional practices of prayer, almsgiving, and penance, Lent offers a precious opportunity to encounter Christ...
Prayer helps us to give more time to God during Lent. We can spend more time reading and studying Scripture, take part in Lenten reflections like the Stations of the Cross, and make an effort to engage in daily prayer and worship.
Lenten good works help us to show special concern for those in need. We follow Jesus’ example of caring and providing for those who are poor or sick. We can take part in special service projects or practice works of mercy to help others. For engaging service project suggestions for young Catholics, check out 10 Service Projects Children Will Love and a Helping the Homeless combination retreat and outreach event for junior high school students.
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics, aged 18 until age 59. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. Children are not expected or obliged to fast during Lent, and neither are those who are ill or have other extenuating health circumstances. However, many Catholics choose to “give up” something for Lent. This sacrificial practice helps to focus on the important work of Lent: the prayer, penance, and good works that prepare us for Easter.
Within the three traditional practices of prayer, almsgiving, and penance, Lent offers a precious opportunity to encounter Christ as we make our way towards Easter. Download and share an Encountering Christ in Lent Support Article exploring ways the season of Lent offers a rich opportunity to deepen our prayer life, empty ourselves of pettiness, and expand our capacity for generosity.
All of these practices also help us prepare to renew our Baptism vows as part of our Easter celebration. Baptism provides the key to Lent. Download the Renew Your Baptism Activity and use it to help young children practice renewing their Baptism during Lent.
In the fourth and fifth centuries, the Church developed liturgies to assist people who wanted to become Christians. The final forty days of this faith journey, the “forty-day retreat” before Baptism, became what we now call Lent. As part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Lent is the time for catechumens to continue their preparation for Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. And it’s a time for those of us who are already baptized to reaffirm what this sacrament means in our lives today.
For more information, explore the What If I’m Asked About Lent? Faith Fact resource.
As the entire Church prepares for the great celebration of Christ’s Paschal Mystery in the Easter Triduum, support children and families as they make special efforts to pray, do penance, and do good works. Every day of the forty-day Lenten season is an opportunity for a renewed encounter with Christ, for simple living, and for preparation for Easter.