40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: A Lenten Chain

Catechists of all age groups are always looking for creative Lenten activities. With that in mind, I’m pleased to offer another of 40 Lenten activities (in 40 days) that I hope will be of use to you. Be sure to check back here each day during Lent to find another Lenten activity that you can adapt for your own setting.

A Lenten Chain

prayer chain

  • You’ll need purple construction paper, scissors, and tape.
  • Cut the purple construction paper into one-inch strips (horizontally, with the paper in the “portrait” position).
  • You’ll need seven strips for each of the young people in your group.
  • Once a week during Lent, give each of the young people a purple strip of paper and invite them to write down their Lenten goal for the week: a prayer they plan to say each day, a sacrifice they plan to commit to, a work of mercy they plan to perform, etc.
  • When they have all finished writing out their Lenten goals for the week, invite them to come forward and loop their strips around one another, taping them together to form a chain.
  • Display the Lenten Chain prominently and watch it grow during Lent as the young people strive to grow closer to Jesus.
About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. I’m a catechist, this year teaching fifth graders. I really like this Lent chain idea! I ran across your site and your name looked familiar; that’s because I have your book “The Catechist’s Toolbox.” I’m sorry to say I haven’t read it yet… :-0
    I’m bookmarking your site–thanks for sharing your faith and your expertise as a catechist!

    Sharon from Virginia

    • Sharon, I’m glad you found me! I’m happy that the Lent chain is an idea that you can use with your 5th graders…let me know how it goes. I hope you enjoy The Catechist’s Toolbox…it’s a very light (and fun) read. Have a great Lent!

  2. I have searched the internet for ideas..and am loooking forward to using your 40 days of Lenten activites for my 6th grade class.
    Thanks so much for helping those of us who are “creative impaired!”
    Stacey Fisher
    Garden Plain Kansas

    • Stacey…I’m glad this will be helpful to you. It’s usually not a matter of being creatively impaired but rather, time impaired! Many catechists just don’t have the time to create ideas from scratch. That’s why it’s so important for us to be resources for one another.

  3. Thanks I will be using several of your ideas my favorite is the Lenten chain I can will display it in church

  4. Really excited to try some of these out!! Am thinking to suggest them to my grown up friends too! We can all use some hands on activities to bring Lent closer to us

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