Family Feast Day Fun: Lent Edition

Feast day and liturgical season traditions help our kiddos understand the Faith in their everyday space in their everyday life. The symbols and colors of the Church during each liturgical season can be brought home in many ways. Foods, activities, crafts, the options are vast.

This may seem like a long one, but just remember to do the ones you like best/are the most helpful for the family unit to start with.

*What season? Lent      *Home altar color? Violet

Lent starts on February 14 this year:

Ash Wednesday– My kids LOVE getting their ashes since they aren’t old enough for Communion yet, so this is one they can receive! Kids can still give up and/or add activities for Lent, don’t underestimate them. Here’s some ideas! It has helped us to type/write everyone’s goals together and post it on the fridge. When we decorate for Lent, we also “undecorate”. I take away any florals, and we collect bare sticks to put on the door and on our home altar; you will also notice no flowers on the altar at church throughout this season.

This is also a fantastic season to learn about the Works of Mercy at the dinner table, and maybe put a few into action throughout Lent. Another fun thing at the dinner table is the Lent song.

Sacrifice Beans- Instituting Sacrifice Beans has been the single best thing we started doing for Lent. Put dry beans in a bowl and an empty jar next to it. Anytime a kid offers a sacrifice or does a good deed, they get to put a bean in the jar. They will transform at Easter time, so stay tuned!

(Also) Upcoming Feast Days:

February 13- Mardis Gras (Fat Tuesday): Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” and refers to enjoying extra delicious foods before beginning a season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In the south it is often celebrated with King Cake the colors of purple, yellow, and green from the New Orleans tradition.

*As St. Valentine’s feast day falls on Ash Wednesday this year, Ash Wednesday takes precedence. If you like to celebrate this feast, may I suggest you do so the night before as a vigil celebration.

February 22- Chair of St. Peter: This is a feast day to celebrate and honor the gift of the Papacy. St. Peter was our first Pope, and his authority was vital, as is our current Pope’s. This is a great day to talk about who the Holy Father is, and especially to pray for him.

March 7- Sts. Perpetua & Felicity: African Romans and two patronesses of pregnancy/babies, as they were pregnant/breastfeeding while in captivity. Heroically martyred, check out the former’s memoire. They initially were set on by a rabid bull, so any beef dish would apply for dinner, and girls can have a fancy hair day based on St. Perpetua’s fantastic hair quote!

March 10- Laetare Sunday: Throughout Lent our liturgical color is purple. So we like to wear purple to Sunday masses. But the 4th Sunday is designated “Laetare” for “rejoice”. It is getting closer to Holy Week, and the catechumens preparing to enter the Church on Easter vigil receive special blessings this day. So on Laetare Sunday, “we wear pink”. 😉

March 17- Passion Sunday: The Sunday before Palm Sunday is when Passiontide begins, ie Passion Sunday. This is when all the crucifixes and statues in the church are suddenly covered in purple fabric! It’s very noticeable to little ones especially. We are so close to Holy Week, it is meant to increase our longing for the Lord and the celebrations to come. To reflect this at home, we do the same. Years ago I picked up a yard or 2 or purple fabric at the store and cut it into pieces. So after mass this day we go home and start covering. Not ALL of the statues, but all of the most obvious ones around the house, especially the crucifixes.

March 17 is also St. Patrick’s feast day, which falls on a Sunday this year. Corned beef and cabbage, and green desserts are fun for the menu.

Remember, at home it is YOUR Domestic Church. Customize for YOUR family. Check back for Holy Week traditions later in Lent!

Feel free to email me for specific tradition questions, Lindsay @ aldridge0222@gmail.com.

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