40/40 – Lenten Activities: A Lenten Practices Jar

This Lenten activity is an opportunity for catechists to help young people focus on concrete, practical examples of practicing the Lenten disciplines.

A Lenten Practices Jar

  • Sometimes, kids need help in coming up with concrete suggestions for practicing the Lenten disciplines. They also need reminders!
  • A Lenten Practices Jar is a way to do just this: provide suggestions and remind young people to practice the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and giving alms.
  • Find a large jar and decorate it with Lenten symbols and “label” it: Lenten Practices Jar.
  • On slips of paper, write examples/suggestions for practicing the Lenten disciplines and fold the slips in half.
  • Consider involving the young people in the creation of these slips of paper by brainstorming as a group, practical suggestions for practicing prayer, fasting, and giving alms.
  • Examples:
    • Prayer: pray a 3-Minute retreat at www.loyolapress.com / pray a decade of the Rosary / read and pray about this Sunday’s Gospel / take to heart (memorize) a traditional Catholic prayer
    • Fasting: skip a meal today / go through an entire evening without having any snacks / have a bowl of soup instead of a full meal / at dinner, fill your plate with only what you need and take no seconds
    • Almsgiving: go through your bedroom (and your house) and collect loose change to donate to a charity / go through your closets and drawers to gather some clothes to donate to the St. Vincent DePaul Society or other charity / volunteer to serve at a soup kitchen within the coming week
  • Place all of these slips of paper in the jar and, each time you gather with your young people, invite them to take a slip from the jar and put the suggestion into practice.
About Joe Paprocki 2737 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.

2 Comments on 40/40 – Lenten Activities: A Lenten Practices Jar

  1. What a great idea!!! I can see myself doing this with my grandkids who are 8, almost 5, and 4. I will definitely ive it a try. Even the youn ones can start learning and starting their own Lent tradition.
    God bless!
    Thank you for such good ideas.
    PS I used to be a catechist for quite a dew years, but at this point in my life my “dometic church” is my priority. It’s important to start at home. The Holy Spirit does guide us. We just need to be open and listen.

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