As a way of helping catechists bring Lent to life for their learners, I am sharing 40 Lenten activities in 40 days. Here’s your next activity…
A Group Fast
- Have a volunteer read aloud Mark 1:12-13 (Jesus in the Wilderness).
- Point out that during Jesus’ 40 days in the desert he fasted and prayed.
- Talk about what it means to fast: to do without food.
- Explain that, during Lent, Catholics practice fasting in order to remind ourselves that our deepest hunger is for God and to practice solidarity with those who have less.
- As a group, brainstorm a list of favorite snacks and write them on the board.
- Ask the young people to identify snacks that are healthy and circle them.
- Distribute and index card to each child and invite each one to jot down the names of three or four uncircled snacks that they will promise not to eat during Lent.
- As a group, agree on a time during the week when you will all fast from any food (for example, Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 P.M.
- Explain that such a group fast is a way experiencing community.
- If possible, arrange for the children to view this Internet video: Prayer and Fasting for Kids – “a lighthearted, fast-paced short video (narrated by kids for kids) that encourages children to fast and pray for other nations.)
- If this is not possible, view the video yourself to find ideas to help explain prayer and fasting to your students.
- For your own enrichment, read Pope Benedict XVI’s recent thoughts on fasting.