Slideshow image

Some basic thoughts:

  • Perhaps you can set up a lenten focal point / altar in your home with some candles, some stones, sand etc. - anything that draws you into a "desert" experience.  The Godly Play program actually has you create a small sandbox with characters for kids to play in.  An indoor sandbox is a great idea.
  • Consider intentionally giving meat up on Fridays as a simple way for your whole family to participate in fasting.  Talk about it and make it a "thing."  You might use one of the prayers below each Friday.  This kind of practice extends our participation in Good Friday.
  • Talk as a family what kind of extra giving you might like to do.  Is there a specific need you could address in your city or the world?  It could be the Stollary, it could be Prayerworks (at St. Faith's), it could be PWRDF, it could be the food bank.  This is a great time to give kids a choice and make it a family event.
  • Plant seeds!  Ash Wednesday is a great moment to get into some soil and plant something in the house.  Choose something that will still be going come easter like grass seed.

Lenten Dates and Themes

  1. Ash Wednesday (Psalm 51:1-17) - we are created and our time on this earth is temporary.  What happened since last Ash Wednesday?
  2. LENT I (Mark 1:9-15) - Jesus tempted in the wilderness.  What does being "tempted" mean?
  3. LENT II (Mark 8:31-38) - Jesus tells Peter, "get behind me Satan."  When is suffering or pain worth it in the world (pregnancy is a good example! Or acting for justice.)
  4. LENT III (John 2:13-22) - Jesus cleansing the temple.  What in your life would you like to see change?  Adults can give some examples first.
  5. LENT IV (John 12:20-33) - Jesus lifted up as a healer, as a bringer of light, as a sign of no condemnation.  What kinds of healing can you name?
  6. LENT V (John 12:20-33) - Unless a grain of wheat falls.  What are the cycles of death-life in our world, of death and re-birth?
  7. Palm/Passion Sunday (Mark 11:1-11) - Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on a Donkey and the passion story.  What kind of King is Jesus (his throne a cross, his crown of thorns)?
  8. Maundy Thursday (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)- the Last Supper and foot washing.  What does betrayal mean?  What does 'washing each other's feet' mean?
  9. Good Friday (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)- Jesus dies.  God enters even Death, nothing is too dark for God.
  10. Holy Saturday - Jesus lies in the tomb.  A "pregnant pause."  Liminal space.  The disciples have fled.  Talk about the fear that comes up when something we waited for didn't happen.
  11. Easter (begins with the Vigil Saturday Night - John 20:1-18).  A shock and surprise! - Jesus is risen!  When have you been surprised?  What does it mean for Jesus to have overcome death?  What is the resurrected Jesus like?

Online Resources


The Fast Life

Fast from judging others;
Feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from fear of illness;
Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute;
Feast on speech that purifies.
Fast from discontent;
Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger;
Feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism;
Feast on hope.
Fast from negatives;
Feast on encouragement.
Fast from bitterness;
Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern;
Feast on compassion.
Fast from suspicion;
Feast on truth.
Fast from gossip;
Feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm;
Feast on prayer that sustains.
Fast from anxiety;
Feast on faith.

- Author Unknown


Invite Us Deeper

Almighty and ever living God,
you invite us deeper into your world, your people, your Lent.
May this time be one of outward focus;
seeking you in those we often ignore.
Help us live a Lent focused on freedom, generosity, and encounter.
Give us hearts hungry to serve you
and those who need what we have to give.

- Author Unknown


Almighty and Everlasting God,
You have given the human race
Jesus Christ our Savior as a model of humility.
He fulfilled Your Will by becoming Man
And giving His life on the Cross.
Help us to bear witness to You
By following His example of suffering
And make us worthy to share in His Resurrection.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son.



I Will Turn (a daily prayer for Lent)

Lord, I will turn, Turn my face towards you.
I will lay before you the desert areas I hide And turn to soak in your refreshing words of life.
I will cast aside the barren, selfish pursuits And turn to rest in the tranquil warmth of your love.
I will draw back from the harsh pull of media And turn to bathe in the gentle power of your Spirit.
Lord, today I turn my face towards you.
I will turn To soak in your words of life,
To rest in the warmth of your love,
And to bathe in the power of your Spirit.

(a Lenten prayer poem by Julie Palmer © 2018
Read more at:


Youth Prayer for Lent (A prayer suitable for teenagers and young people to say)

Lord, Teach me a new freedom.
Freedom to reject comparison And to embrace uniqueness.
Freedom to cut ties with greed And feast on love.
Freedom to abstain from over indulgence
And feast on self-control.
Freedom to leave behind selfish thoughts And to focus on the needs of others.
Freedom to fend off insecurity
And to embrace grace. Lord, at this time of Lent,
Thank you for the freedom you bring. Amen.

(a Lenten prayer for young people from
Read more at: