So, Ash Wednesday is next week. Next week. As in 9 days from today. Kind of snuck up on me. I was all lulled into the the routine of ordinary time and now I need to get rolling on our plans for Lent.
First things first. The Jesse Tree was such a huge joy during Advent. It really made the season meaningful to have the ornaments and readings every day. I was so happy to see that there already exists the Jesus Tree for Lent! Our lighted willow branch got a little crowded with 28 ornaments, so I'm ordering another one to put in our vase to hold all 43 of these ornaments. I'm also heading to Michael's this week to pick up a few bags of purple glass vase fillers (is that the technical term?). I think those will look a little nicer than the crumpled tissue paper I had in there before. I'm once again going to send the printables to our local UPS store to have printed in color and on cardstock. I'm going to laminate them at home, though, since I picked up one of these a while back when it was on sale.
So, that's one daily activity for Lent. What else?
I picked up The Essential Lenten Handbook last month (I was thinking ahead a little, at least) and there is a nice section on family devotions, specifically "a family-centered Way of the Cross." Every evening of Lent, you gather around a lit candle and reflect on one of the Stations of the Cross. Stations one and two are during the week of Ash Wednesday, three and four are during the first week of Lent, and so on through the season. To prepare, next weekend Henry and I are going to make a "stained glass" votive candle holder. I have a bunch of those Glade Wisp candle holders that I stuck in a closet way back when. We'll use one of those as a holder and use a glue wash to apply layers of purple tissue paper to the exterior. Then, we can just use plain tea light or votive candles inside instead of trying to find enough purple candles to make it through Lent. Purple, it seems, is not a very popular candle color.
To go along with this activity, I'm also getting this Stations of the Cross poster set. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the dimensions for this are. It's not listed anywhere on the product description. I'm hoping they're letter-sized or smaller so I can laminate these also and save them for future use. For $9.95, it's probably a safe bet that they are not ginormous.
Daily ornament, daily Station of the Cross reflection... The Lenten Handbook also has a Lenten Family Graces section with reflections and prayers for Ash Wednesday, all of the Fridays of Lent, the Triduum, Easter Sunday, and the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter, the Annunciation, Saint Joseph, and St. Patrick. We'll do these also.
Our last activity will be to engage in the practice of covering our crucifixes with purple cloths on Palm Sunday. Those will stay in place until Easter Sunday. We'll also be completing activities in Henry's religion workbook and downloading printables to color throughout Lent.
Okay! In a few weeks, I'll start pulling together resources for celebrating Easter.