Family Lent Tradition

For almost a decade now, here is a tradition our family has observed for Lent.

Along with the sacrifices we make for Lent, with what we "take away" from our life, we also decided that this liturgical time was asking us to ADD something to our life. We decided to pray, as a family, every night at dinner for people in our lives.

Here's how we do it.

We write out LOTS of the Pope!

We cut those names into slips, fold them up and put them in a basket.

At dinner a child or two (or more) depending on how many names you put in (and you'll need more than 50 names in that case) picks a slip and reads it aloud. The children have taken to holding the slips in the air as I have used the term, when praying, that we "lift" these souls to the Lord for their intentions and needs.

Then we mark their names on our kitchen calendar on the date we "picked" them and prayed for them. From the very beginning it was apparent that God "picked" the names. EVERY year someone tells us how meaningful prayers were for them on that exact date because we send them a religious card or email lettting them know we prayed for them and the date their name came out of the basket. It is a privilege to see the names, to pray, to see the children so adamant about who goes into the basket.

It continues to be a very tangible way that my family can see the hand of God at work! And God delights in answering the prayers of little children...

published April 2006



Kathy said...

Please add the Remaley older ladies to your prayer list. That they find good catholic husbands, Jesus comes to mind.

P.S You are the most holies person I know. I love reading your blog and talking to you. You keep me going.


Therese said...

This is a great idea. I am going to get ready for this with Tom and Amelia during the week. Thanks for the idea.

Vicki said...

Love the idea! So simple yet so meaningful. We'll definitely be doing this for lent.

Kelly said...

This is a fantastic idea! I'm going to start this tradition this year too! Thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful idea! Thanks for sharing it. Great idea for even the littlest kids to feel that they are participating with the family -- we'll definitely try this too. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration!

Becky C. said...

Thanks for this great idea. Can't wait to do it with my family this Lent

Gardenia said...

what a wonderful idea. thanks for sharing.

Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings said...

I love this idea, and I've always tried to add some spiritual practice during Lent to help deepen my faith. We are just starting to shape our Lenten family traditions with children...our oldest is 4 1/2 I'm always on the lookout for great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

Chris said...

Love this idea, ALlison....We will definitely be doing this and I thank you so very much for sharing this beautiful idea.
(We'll be adding the president's name, too, b.c right now, we have a feeling of strong negativity pervading and I think this would serve us all in recognizing that he needs prayers so that satan loosens his grip....This is perfect. Thank you.

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