The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Addition, not subtraction

10 things your family can add this Lent

As the liturgical season of Lent approaches, it's possible some of us aren't anticipating the traditions of prayer, fasting and almsgiving for 40 days. Perhaps you've even wondered if it's really necessary or helpful to "do without." But what if we instead add spiritual practices that enhance our preparation for Easter?

An already busy family can add to the season of preparation without adding unnecessary stress. Try at least one of these practices, or think of your own:

design pics1. Pray together as a family. If you've never done this, start each day with a breakfast prayer or pray as the kids go out the door to school. Focus morning prayers on "Where will we see God today?"

2. Designate a consistent time for "family night" each week. Take turns picking an activity and selecting the meal. Keep this time sacred (also technology-free) and focus on the sensory parts of the meal. Create special place mats, light candles, change the location (outdoors, basement, garage) to awaken the senses to the presence of God.

3. Collect coins during Lent. Last year, our church preschool collected $759.52 for a food pantry. Just drop all loose change in a container at the end of each day. As a family, decide where to send the money.

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Embracing diversity