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Catholic Activity: Lenten Candelabra

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Here is a unique project to aid family meditation and hold your children's attention while you pray the Stations of the Cross in your home.

DIRECTIONS

For families who cannot always get to the parish church for Lenten devotions, a form of the Stations of the Cross can be said at home. A candelabra made to hold twelve candles is helpful (a single piece of wood with twelve holes bored for the candles will do). All the candles are lighted for the start of prayers, extinguished one by one as the Stations are said, until the room (in which the other lights have been turned off) is in darkness at the twelfth Station, "Jesus dies on the Cross."

"He was the Light of the World," explained one small boy, "and when He died, the Light went out of the world."

We must not forget to add to our fourteen Stations the reflection that they were followed by the Resurrection, when the world was filled with Light again. And so it remains, with His Light now shining forth from us.

Our meditations for the Stations can be related to the mystery of the Passion and the resurrection in our daily lives. For example, for the first Station, "Jesus is condemned to death," a mother or father might say something like this: "We are all going to die. We cannot go to God in eternity unless we die. So death is really the doorway to eternal life. How good of God, who did not need to die, to take this experience of ours and share it with us, turning its fears and pains — if these we must endure — into powerful prayers and offerings. We can use dying as He did, and help bring life to all men with it. Let us live each day not only of Lent but of our whole life as though tomorrow we might die; then Lent, and indeed our entire life, can be a joyful following of the Lord through death to life forever in heaven."

Such teaching on death must be repeated and explored again and again in the family, if we are to raise children whose attitude toward death will be really Christian.

Activity Source: Homemade Christians by Mary Reed Newland, George A. Pflaum, Dayton, Ohio, 1964

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