40 Ideas for 40 Days

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

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 17
My Lenten Calendar: 40 Crosses
Color a cross each day for 40 days showing good deeds done out of love for Jesus.

Thursday, February 18
Lenten Actions Cards
Encourage families to take practical steps toward practicing the traditional Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Friday, February 19
A Prayer for Fasting
Pray with young people to help them understand the purpose of fasting.

Saturday, February 20
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, February 22
Lenten Activities: A Lenten Chain
Watch the chain grow during Lent as young people identify their Lenten goals.

Tuesday, February 23
Guided Reflection on Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving
Introduce young people to the three Lenten disciplines through a prayerful reflection.

Wednesday, February 24
Lent with the Saints
Be inspired in prayer and action this Lent through the examples of St. Teresa of Ávila, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Lawrence Ruiz, Venerable Pierre Toussaint, and more.

Thursday, February 25
Helping Families Celebrate Lent
Help families see that it can be fun and enriching to celebrate Catholic Lenten traditions at home.

Friday, February 26
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, February 27
Avoiding Temptations
Brainstorm temptations that young people face and can strive to avoid during Lent.

Second Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 1
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 2
Prayer Cubes for Lent
Encourage family prayer, and develop a habit of prayer in children by creating prayer cubes.

Wednesday, March 3
Five Ways to Follow Jesus During Lent
Help young people experience Lent in a way that connects them to Jesus.

Thursday, March 4
The Desert Experience
Explore with children the Lenten image of the desert, where God is encountered in a special way.

Friday, March 5
Overcoming Impulses

Learn to recognize impulsive behaviors and work to overcome them.

Saturday, March 6
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 8
Remembering the Lamb
Glue cotton balls onto a lamb for each prayer or doctrinal formula children take to heart during Lent.

Tuesday, March 9
Sacred Art—Budding Artists
Engage those young people who are more visual and perhaps even artistically inclined, focusing on the Stations of the Cross.

Wednesday, March 10
What’s with the Pretzels?
Explore why pretzels are a traditional Lenten food that remind us to pray and fast.

Thursday, March 11
Fasting with St. Vincent Ferrer
Show young people how they might learn from St. Vincent’s example this Lent.

Friday, March 12
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 13
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, March 15
What Lenten Hymns Teach
Search through Lenten hymns to identify the meaning of Lent.

Tuesday, March 16
Works of Mercy Prayers and Activities—Free Resource Packet
Spread the message of mercy to those you serve.

Wednesday, March 17
Praying with St. Patrick
Encourage young people to draw closer to God and one another by taking St. Patrick’s Breastplate to heart.

Thursday, March 18
Stations of the Cross Tableaus
Create “freeze frames” of the Stations of the Cross.

Friday, 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.

Saturday, March 20
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, March 22
Praying the Daily Examen
Learn how to practice an Ignatian form of prayer—the Daily Examen—during Lent.

Tuesday, March 23
Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search
Do a Scripture search to locate the five Sorrowful Mysteries prayed in the Rosary.

Wednesday, March 24
Giving Alms with St. Katharine Drexel
Help young people to develop a generous heart like St. Katharine Drexel.

Thursday, March 25
The Seven Last Words of Christ Scripture Search
Search Scripture for the Seven Last Words of Christ as recorded in the Gospels.

Friday, March 26
Looking for Clues
Help children become more familiar with the Passion story.

Saturday, March 27
Holy Week Activities Pack
Help children and families experience the full meaning of the final days before Easter.

Palm Sunday

Monday, March 29
Holy Week Basket
Connect Holy Week and the end of Lent to the celebration of Easter by creating Holy Week baskets.

Tuesday, March 30
Scenes From Holy Week
Invite young people to imagine drawing the cover of a parish bulletin for Holy Week.

Wednesday, March 31
Triduum Triptychs
Design a triptych showing symbols of the Triduum with this activity from the Christ Our Life program.

Thursday, April 1
Learning about the Last Supper
Focus on the Eucharist and the Last Supper with young people.

Friday, April 2
10 Ways to Help Children Appreciate the Triduum
Teach about the Triduum during the week preceding it.

Saturday, April 3
Holy Week, the Triduum, and Easter—Free PowerPoint Presentation
Teach older children, teens, and adults about the holiest time of the year.

21 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!

  2. Amazing Ideas. Currently planning our annual Lenten Event (2020) activities now and will definitely be using some of these at our event.

  3. These are beautiful and engaging resources to use during the Lenten season. Thank you for putting them altogether in one place and having resources for both elementary and junior high!

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