The Church celebrates Ash Wednesday on March 6 this year. Catholics receive ashes and recommit themselves to prayer, fasting, and sharing of resources. It’s a good time to review the rules for fasting and abstinence and share them with your families. While most of the children are not required to observe these rules (the minimum age is 14), many families choose to make a Lenten sacrifice together. Discuss with the children what “giving up” things for Lent really means. We share in the suffering of Jesus and of others and become more mindful of those who lack. This Visions activity may be used with all ages as a review of the types of sacrifices Catholics make during Lent—prayer, almsgiving, or fasting. Make sure that the children understand that “almsgiving” does not mean that one must give money. Service is also a very acceptable gift. Brainstorm ways they may share their time and gifts. This Ash Wednesday Prayer Service for families provides time to write Lenten commitments and prayerfully begin this contemplative season.
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