40 Ideas for 40 Days

40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent from Catechist's Journey

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, March 6
“What’s That On Your Forehead?”—Helping Kids Explain Ash Wednesday
Provide children with the language to explain why they are wearing ashes.

Thursday, March 7
My Lenten Calendar: 40 Crosses
Color a cross each day for 40 days showing good deeds done out of love for Jesus.

Friday, March 8
Lenten Actions Cards
Encourage families to take practical steps toward practicing the traditional Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Saturday, March 9
Hooking Your Students: An Idea for Lent
Demonstrate how we practice letting go of things as a way of opening our hearts to receive God’s grace.

First Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 11
Lenten Activities: A Lenten Chain
Watch the chain grow during Lent as young people identify their Lenten goals.

Tuesday, March 12
Guided Reflection on Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving
Introduce young people to the three Lenten disciplines through a prayerful reflection.

Wednesday, March 13
Bury the Alleluia
Symbolize the removal of the Alleluia during Lent in anticipation of its return at Easter.

Thursday, March 14
Helping Families Celebrate Lent
Help families see that it can be fun and enriching to celebrate Catholic Lenten traditions at home.

Friday, March 15
Praying with the Stations of the Cross—With Free Station to Station Questions for Reflection and Discussion
Learn about Jesus’ responses to suffering and our responses as well.

Saturday, March 16
Praying with St. Patrick
Encourage young people to draw closer to God and one another by taking St. Patrick’s Breastplate to heart.

Second Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 18
Lent: So What’s Up with the Number 40?
Explore how, in the Bible, the number 40 is symbolic and represents a significant period of time during which an individual’s faith is tested.

Tuesday, March 19
Silence is Golden (In Honor of St. Joseph)
Use the Feast of St. Joseph, who was a quiet man, to teach young people to be quiet during this season of Lent in order to meet Jesus in their hearts.

Wednesday, March 20
Five Ways to Follow Jesus During Lent
Help young people experience Lent in a way that connects them to Jesus.

Thursday, March 21
The Desert Experience
Explore with children the Lenten image of the desert, where God is encountered in a special way.

Friday, March 22
Overcoming Impulses

Learn to recognize impulsive behaviors and work to overcome them.

Saturday, March 23
The Scrutinies
Focus on the celebration of the rites called the Scrutinies, which are celebrated with the catechumens (those to be baptized on Holy Saturday) on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent.

Third Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 25
Remembering the Lamb
Glue cotton balls onto a lamb for each prayer or doctrinal formula children take to heart during Lent.

Tuesday, March 26
Avoiding Temptations
Brainstorm temptations that young people face and can strive to avoid during Lent.

Wednesday, March 27
What’s with the Pretzels?
Explore why pretzels are a traditional Lenten food that remind us to pray and fast.

Thursday, March 28
A Group Fast
Find strength in numbers by joining together in an experience of fasting.

Friday, March 29
Six Ways to Keep the Message of Lent a Focal Point All Season
Keep Lenten themes the focus of every session for the entire season.

Saturday, March 30
Reconciliation Resources: A Story of Reconciliation and an Examination of Conscience
Download two resources to help in preparing for a Reconciliation service.

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Monday, April 1
What Lenten Hymns Teach
Search through Lenten hymns to identify the meaning of Lent.

Tuesday, April 2
Works of Mercy Prayers and Activities—Free Resource Packet
Spread the message of mercy to those you serve.

Wednesday, April 3
Sacred Art—Budding Artists
Engage those young people who are more visual and perhaps even artistically inclined, focusing on the Stations of the Cross.

Thursday, April 4
Stations of the Cross Tableaus
Create “freeze frames” of the Stations of the Cross.

Friday, April 5
Fasting with St. Vincent Ferrer
Show young people how they might learn from St. Vincent’s example this Lent.

Saturday, April 6
Developing Students’ Prayerful Habits During Lent
Make a Lenten journey folder as one way to introduce young children to prayer.

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Monday, April 8
Praying the Daily Examen
Learn how to practice an Ignatian form of prayer—the Daily Examen—during Lent.

Tuesday, April 9
Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search
Do a Scripture search to locate the five Sorrowful Mysteries prayed in the Rosary.

Wednesday, April 10
Giving Alms with St. Katharine Drexel
Help young people to develop a generous heart like St. Katharine Drexel.

Thursday, April 11
The Seven Last Words of Christ Scripture Search
Search Scripture for the Seven Last Words of Christ as recorded in the Gospels.

Friday, April 12
Looking for Clues
Help children become more familiar with the Passion story.

Saturday, April 13
Holy Week Activities Pack
Help children and families experience the full meaning of the final days before Easter.

Palm Sunday

Monday, April 15
Holy Week Basket
Connect Holy Week and the end of Lent to the celebration of Easter by creating Holy Week baskets.

Tuesday, April 16
Scenes From Holy Week
Invite young people to imagine drawing the cover of a parish bulletin for Holy Week.

Wednesday, April 17
Triduum Triptychs
Design a triptych showing symbols of the Triduum with this activity from the Christ Our Life program.

Thursday, April 18
Learning about the Last Supper
Focus on the Eucharist and the Last Supper with young people.

Friday, April 19
10 Ways to Help Children Appreciate the Triduum
Teach about the Triduum during the week preceding it.

Saturday, April 20
Holy Week, the Triduum, and Easter—Free PowerPoint Presentation
Teach older children, teens, and adults about the holiest time of the year.

11 Comments on 40 Ideas for 40 Days

  1. This is incredible! Thank you so much. My catechists and I are very grateful that you have this resource ready and updated for this coming Lenten season. God bless you!

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