The season of Lent is here again! It is the Church’s penitential season within the liturgical year. a time of almsgiving, fasting and praying. During this season, we contemplate Jesus’ sacrifice before celebrating his resurrection This Christian tradition begins on Ash Wednesday (February 17th, 2021) and ends on Holy Saturday (April 3rd, 2021) – the day before Easter Sunday. It has six Sundays, and the final one, known as Passion (or Palm) Sunday begins the Holy Week. This season goes back to the fourth century or earlier. The 40 days of Lent (Sundays are not counted in the 40 days, because Sunday is the day of resurrection) marks the 40 days that Christ spent in the desert fasting, it also a time of preparation for Easter. The focus of Lent is on self-denial, sacrifice, and simplicity; a time when Celebrating Lent with the family Christians reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for our salvation.
Many Christians use this time for fasting and prayer; as a period of spiritual reflection, a favourable time to prepare with a renewed heart to celebrate Easter, and many choose to “give up” something as a personal sacrifice during this period. Families are the formation center for life and establish healthy habits, values and disciplines in the children. They have a unique and precious opportunity to share with their children the significance and importance of the Lenten Season. The Church encourages quality family time supported by faith-based activities because this strengthens the bonds between family members and promotes family values. The Lenten season can help prepare us to be more family focused, hence, some hints to consider on how your family can refocus on family time: ✓ Calendar of Devotions – One devotion and a suggested practice for each of the weeks of Lent, culminating with Easter ✓ “40” Activities – To help celebrate the 40 days of Lent, read and share passages of scripture ( the Gospel passages of each day during Lent) ✓ Daily Prayer Time- it will be good for the children to see that prayer is a natural thing. Every evening/ night, choose what or who to pray for, allow each member of the family to take turns to pray each day ✓ Give up something – Lent is a time of sacrifice.
Have each member of the family choose something they will give up during the season of Lent. Some suggestions: television, a favourite food or drink, computer games, certain music. ✓ TV time- Limit screen time and use the time to interact and communicate more, take turns to say something good or encouraging for each other. It is a way of building strong family culture.
• Rev. Sr. Judith Madueke, EHJ is the Director, Religious Education Archdiocese of Lagos