Because it’s Lent, Lent, It’s time to repent!

Every year when Lent begins, my kids love singing this Dogma Dogs song.  You can listen to it on their website.  I’d like to issue a warning:  This song is extremely catchy and will get stuck in your head even if this is the first time you’re hearing it.  If you’re trying to quiet your mind for Lent, then this is not the song for you.  The lyrics are spot on, and really do teach children the meaning of the Holy Season of Lent.  I kinda love that it was the first thing they started singing when we brought up what we’re doing for Lent this year.

The priest is dressed in purple.  The Alleluia’s gone.
They haven’t sung the Gloria, just what is going on?
It’s Lent, Lent, it’s time to repent, because it’s Lent, Lent, our wills they get bent,
By what we’ve done and failed to do.  But ask for Mercy, He’ll give it to you.
From Ash Wednesday to evening Mass on Holy Thursday, use a magnifying glass.
Inspect your life!  Do you see some sin?  Well, let the alms and the penance begin.
Lent, Lent, it’s time to repent, because it’s Lent, Lent, our wills they get bent,
By what we’ve done and failed to do.  But ask for Mercy, He’ll give it to you.
Remember man that you are dust.  Believe the Gospel.  Give it some trust.
Lent means “spring.” It’s a beautiful thing to get prepared for the Risen King.
Lent, Lent, it’s time to repent, because it’s Lent, Lent, our wills they get bent,
By what we’ve done and failed to do.  But ask for Mercy, He’ll give it to you.
After 40 days and 40 nights of prayer and fasting, living right,
then Easter Sunday comes to town!  Christ gets up and the Spirit comes down.
It was Lent, Lent, it’s time to repent, because it’s Lent, Lent, our wills they get bent,
By what we’ve done and failed to do.  But ask for Mercy, He’ll give it to you.

As a catholic parent, I look at Lent as an opportunity to teach my children about sacrifice.  The graces will be dispensed by a Higher Power than I, but I see it as my job to make sure the children are doing and giving up things each year during Lent.  When they become adults, they will know what it feels like to sacrifice and then what it feels like to grow in grace and virtue as a result.  The Hubs and I decided together what things we would give up as a family.  Our four older children are ten, eight and a half, seven, and five, so we feel like this is really the first year where we can ask more of them than we have in the past.  This past Advent, we decided to give up TV and computer/iPad time and we were so happy with how it went.  The first few days were very difficult.  It was as if they children were going through detox, and to be honest, we felt it too!  We have all gotten into some pretty lousy habits when it comes to screen time this winter.  And that’s the beauty of Lent!  It always seems to arrive just in time to spur us on to something greater.

Sometimes, it takes a little inspiration to get us parents moving, doesn’t it?  If I’m being completely honest, Lent is not my favorite Liturgical Season.  I don’t get super excited about sitting down with my spouse to think of what things we should give up for forty days.  Many times the ideas I have for our family are quickly followed by feelings of discouragement.  “I’m not holy enough to do THAT for forty days!”  But after reading Kendra’s post about what her family is doing for Lent, I had positive thoughts, not discouraging ones. I started to feel positive about my lofty ideals for leading my family to holiness.  Because I’m a visual person, I started by making a little poster listing what we should and shouldn’t be doing during Lent and placed it on our fridge.  Kendra has thought of it all, so no need to reinvent the wheel on this one!  You could make your own poster according to what you want you and your children to work on this Lent.  The idea is so great and I like the reminder right there in the highest traffic area in our home:  The refrigerator!  Thank you, Kendra, for sharing your family’s Lenten traditions.  Your blog is truly the source for catholic family devotion and tradition ideas.  They are a gift to us catholic moms who sometimes just need that little push in the right direction.

Lenten reminders

Because my children will ask a million times, especially during this first week when they’re detoxing, I made a list of the days when we will all be allowed to enjoy the things we are sacrificing as a family.  I know this is up for debate among catholics, but our family follows the “Feast with the Church or fast by yourself” mindset.  And, because of our Irish ancestry, we include the Feast of St. Patrick on our list of Lenten Feast Days.  Right under the poster you see above, I have hung this:

Feast Days in Lent

Lent fridge FINAL
The lovely printable on the freezer door is also from Catholic All Year.  It is a beautiful quote from Venerable Fulton Sheen about Lent that I am certain will inspire us on the days when we just don’t think we can make another sacrifice.

 Lenten calendars
Another genius with endless ideas on how to live out the liturgical year in our domestic churches is Lacy from Catholic Icing.  Just this morning, Social Butterfly, our five year old, asked (again, she’s detoxing), “How many days until we get to watch a movie?”  So I took her over to her Lenten Calendar and asked her to count the spaces to the next heart.  “Oh!  I can do that!” she said.  I put a heart on every Sunday in Lent and tonight after dinner, the kids are going to draw a picture representing the Feast Days we’ll be celebrating on the correct spaces of the calendar.  A shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day, a tool for the Solemnity of St. Joseph, and a crown for the Annunciation.

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