Planning for Lent as a Family
The last couple of years, my children (girls aged 11 and 8) have been old enough to participate in the planning of our family prayer life. So right before Lent started this year, we held a family meeting to discuss what we would do as a group to observe this liturgical season.
Family meetings have an established format: we don't do anything else during the meeting, someone takes notes, and if you want to speak you have to be holding the toy duck. Once we are all settled, either my wife or I pitch the subject matter, and we're off and running.
This Lent many wonderful ideas were presented by my daughters and classified under of Prayer, Almsgiving, and Fasting. After all of the ideas were gathered, we reviewed the lists (discussing the pros and cons), and took a vote. Please note: it seems that my wife's vote counts twice, and I am never (well, rarely) dumb enough to differ with my wife on family or spiritual matters. So we parents can never be outvoted.
The specific things that we decided to do during Lent aren't really important. What is important is the family focus on the liturgical season and spiritual unity. I suspect that most families in our reading audience do something similar to prepare for Lent. But if you don't, it isn't too late to take the bull by the horns and make Lent 2012 a most profitable one!
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