Today begins the season of Lent.
Lent is observed as the six weeks before Good Friday. It is preceded by Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, the day on which observes eat the last of their fatty, rich foods so that they don’t go to waste during the fasting season of Lent. The first official day of Lent is Ash Wednesday (today!), then there are 40 days of fasting and 6 celebration days (Sundays). The timing reflects the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, hungry and tempted by Satan.
I have often heard my Catholic friends talk about observing Lent, but I have not often heard my friends of other Christian flavors talk about observing it.
The beautiful thing about Jesus is that we can all remember his sacrifice, whether or not we strictly observe a particular denomination’s traditions.
Any family can talk about Jesus’ sacrifice and celebrate his resurrection, no matter what they choose to eat on Fridays or whether they fast during Lent. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition.
With that in mind, I want to start observing Lent with my kids. I want to talk about Jesus more. We will still have Easter baskets and Easter egg hunts and the Easter bunny, but I want them to know that this whole Easter deal is to celebrate our risen Savior who conquered death.
16 Ways to Observe Lent as a Family
- Give up something as a family. Jesus fasted for 40 days. That is a very long time! It would be meaningful to teach your children about fasting by giving up something for the entire Lenten season or on Fridays during Lent. It could be giving up desserts, not going out to eat, or drinking only water. The key is that it has to be something you enjoy and want to do/eat/have. If you hate brussels sprouts and decide to give them up during Lent, you may need to reevaluate.