Lenten Resources

Browse the collection of Lenten articles for catechists from the contributors at Catechist’s Journey.

For even more Lent ideas, including the e-mail series Living Lent Daily, visit Lent Resources from Loyola Press.

Prayer Cubes for Lent

There are many opportunities to engage children during the season of Lent. I like to use this season to encourage the children in my class to develop a new prayer habit, especially a habit that they can bring home to their families. Last year my class used Lenten prayer sticks, which were very popular. I wondered why, and it dawned on me that having something tangible made prayer time hard to ignore. Parents could more […]

Ashes Speak of Grace, Creation, and Justice

Receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday is often misunderstood as simply a reminder of our mortality: “We’re all gonna die!” What a depressing message! And yet, the words we hear at Mass on Ash Wednesday remind us that being marked with ashes will help us to “celebrate” the Paschal Mystery. To celebrate is to express joy. What is so joyful about getting dust smeared on our foreheads? We need to remember that all symbolic acts invoke […]

An Ash Wednesday Dialogue

Provide children with the language to explain why they wear ashes on Ash Wednesday. The brief video below illustrates an imagined dialogue between two students that can be a model for children and a classroom discussion starter. Read the post that inspired this video: “What’s That on Your Forehead?”—Helping Kids Explain Ash Wednesday. And see more Lenten resources for catechists here.

What Lenten Hymns Teach

Editor’s Note: With Ash Wednesday fast approaching, today we highlight one of the activities from our popular 40 Ideas for 40 Days feature. While organized according to the calendar, the activities aren’t limited to just one day of Lent. Check out 40 Ideas for 40 Days here. Today’s Lenten activity is an opportunity for catechists to reach those young people who are more musically inclined, tapping into the musical/rhythmic intelligence of some of your students. What […]

Lent with the Saints

Spend Lent with the saints this year, with the aid of our downloadable handout featuring 40 holy men and women. Let their lives inspire you to courage, service, surrender, and fidelity. They will help you, as you journey with your family and faith community, to grow with them in faith, hope, and love. The saints are divided into four groups: those who changed Church or society; strong women; martyrs; and little-known holy ones. Through the […]

Lent: So Much More Than “Giving Things Up”

It’s time that we got past the idea of Lent as simply a season of “giving things up.” While that is a part of Lent, if it stops there, it is like someone joining a 12-step group and thinking that achieving abstinence from the addictive behavior is to be equated with sobriety. Abstinence from the addictive behavior is only the first step in what must be a holistic plan for recovery that addresses behaviors, emotions, and […]

Venerating the Cross Beyond Good Friday

One of the most profound and reverent moments of the Triduum is the Veneration (Adoration) of the Cross that takes place on Good Friday during the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord. In this ritual, all in the assembly are invited to come forward to reverence the cross, usually by genuflecting or bowing and kissing or touching the cross. Why do we reverence or adore an instrument of death? Because, for us, it is a symbol […]

Holy Week: Entering the Passion Story

As we journey through this holiest of weeks, and especially the Triduum, I invite you to reflect and respond to one or both of the following questions: Which character(s) in the Passion story do you find most intriguing (whether they are inspiring or tragic) and why? If you could paint a picture or create a sculpture of one moment in the story of Christ’s Passion, what would it be and why? I invite you to […]

Story, Art, and Prayer in Holy Week

Holy Week presents a perfect opportunity for catechists to change what might be the usual format for the session and create a retreat-like atmosphere to explore themes from this climax of the liturgical year. I do that in my seventh-grade classroom by focusing on several prayer experiences and activities aimed at helping the young people grasp the story of Jesus’ Passion and Death. I’ve written before about Preparing for Holy Week in Junior High, but […]

Six Ways to Keep the Message of Lent a Focal Point All Season

How can we catechists keep the message of Lent a focal point in our classes for six weeks? Beyond keeping a purple cloth on the prayer table, here are a few ideas for keeping Lenten themes the focus of every session for the entire season. Challenge young people to silence. I started this last year with my seventh graders. At first they had a hard time settling themselves for a few moments of complete silence […]

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