Friday, January 26, 2018

Getting Ready for Lent

Lent begins on February 18 for Eastern Christians, and we are entering the three weeks of preparation for Lent. (Western Easter is April 1, while Eastern Pascha is April 8 this year.) Once again, I'm feeling a little daunted by the task ahead but anticipating the good things, too. Here's a quick round up of my Lenten printables if you need help getting organized.
  • A look at the Christian origins of Lent and Pascha If you're still thinking early Christians kept this feast because they secretly didn't want to give up their pagan traditions, you may want to check out that post. They had the greatest reason of all to celebrate this day with joy, and so do we - even with eggs and baskets!
  • Printable calendars - we keep one of these on our fridge and color in the days as we go to mark our progress. Just grab and print on regular paper. The second page has extra stamps (for Akathists, Presanctified Liturgies, Canon of St. Andrew, Annunciation, Confession, and Soul Saturdays) that you can cut and paste onto your calendar to mark your parish's services. You can grab these jpgs, or find a pdf version hereI also have resources for the Great Canon during Clean Week, and St. Mary of Egypt, and Lazarus Saturday.

  • Lenten Passport/JournalThis simple blank book can be used like a passport or journal to keep track of your lenten goals. It includes a memory verse from each of the Sunday's Gospels, and blank space to put in stamps or write almsgiving plans (I encourage the children to come up with one act of service per week). Print the pages front and back, and take out the page of stamps before stapling into a book. (The last page is blank because its the back of the stamps.) The pdf is embedded below, or use this link

  • Lenten Centerpiece -  I don't think we'll have any gardens or trees this year, so I think we might make Lenten Centerpiece again with things to remind us to pray (candles/icons), fast (beans), and give alms (coin jar/flowers). I'll collect things and let the kids assemble it how they want, and we'll talk about what it reminds us of during meals. 

  • Printable Pascha Cards - I've made a few different Pascha cards over the years. My favorite is below, but you can find more herehere, here, here, and here. They're fun to print and give to friends at the feast or mail to loved ones. I'm planning to make some new ones that the kids can color themselves before Pascha. 

Wishing you a good fast!

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