You enjoy the world with your five senses. I want engulf my senses with the beautiful simplicity and meaningful moments that can come from fully participating in the Lenten Season.
First things first. How do you create an atmosphere for Lent? With Decorations? Music? Changing up your Family Meal Plans? I dapple in each of these areas since I like to immerse my family in the season and I have a sensory child that enjoys and understands the concepts more with his environment being overtaken with sights, sounds, touches, scents and tastes. What could be better than finding a way to entice your senses while on your journey to a closer relationship to God. After all, he created us with these senses, he surely wants us to use them!
Let’s start with the sense of sight. The breathtaking colors of Violet and Purple and the rustic accents of branches, thorns and wilderness really make Lent come to life. Simplicity is key. So far I have adorned our fireplace mantle with a DIY board I created of the Stations of the Cross and flame-less votive candles. The twinkling flames against our Stations as they each go out one by one as we pray the Stations on Fridays, create a nice prayerful ambiance.
There is also a vase of plain branches that is tied with a violet ribbon on our dining room table and a beautiful picture that represents Lent to my family on display. I also tied a grapevine wreath with the same purple ribbon as the vase on our front door. Our home altar has been cleaned and looks very simple with a purple cover, crown of thorns, sacrifice bean jar, our operation rice bowl and a beautiful purple rosary I won in a giveaway hosted by Mrs. Andy Anchored by Faith. This is one of the areas I just completed today and I am feeling quite proud of the Lenten feel that is in my home.
Sounds are a little more difficult for me to chose during this season. When I think of a prayerful place, I think of quite, which is not something you will find in our crazy little home. So to embrace both Lent and the crazy that is happening in my home at all times, I thought some nice background music would be good or some nice calm prayers. My children and I are huge fans of Holy Heroes line of audio CDs. They offer the Stations of the Cross, the Rosary and Glory Stories about the Saints! and I was also given a great review about Music for Children’s Liturgy of the Word by Christopher Walker that I purchased to add to our collection. I would love to hear what you consider a “sound of the season” for Lent.
The most difficult sense for me to decide on is always Touch. To satisfy the sense of touch, I have collected a nice amount of coloring pages. Once again, I have to mention Holy Heroes. They offer a FREE Lenten Adventure that send you coloring pages, word searches, cross words and much more that is relevant to the season of Lent. Life, Love and Sacred Art has some amazingly cute and unique coloring pages too.
Get your hands dirty with some great crafts! Burying the “ALLELUIA” is one of my children’s absolute favorite crafts. We will also be creating a Resurrection Garden that you can start during Lent. Planting the seeds for this craft no later than the third week of Lent will allow everything to grow just in time for Easter. Making Sacrifice Beads, Rosaries and Lenten Trees are also some fun and simple crafts you could do as a family.
Books are another great touch that would be great to dive into during Lent. Devotionals and stories that explain the Lenten season. You could even include some of the feast days we celebrate during the 40 days as well. It was difficult to chose a Lenten devotional I wanted to read since I had already completed a Walk in Her Sandals. During Holy Week I will be rereading A Walk in Her Sandals but I was stumped about what to do the rest of the season. I decided I would read Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation and Resisting Happiness both written by Matthew Kelly. I am excited about these National Best-Sellers! There are questions in each section or chapter that allow me to ponder what I have read and how it relates to me. These questions can be utilized to write in prayer journals.
Recommended: How to Help Your Child Prepare for Lent
Taste is my favorite sense! Food and drink are the first things that come to mind! The whole premise of the Lenten season is simplicity so simple meals, snacks and drinks are what I consider to captivate my family’s sense of taste. I love baking pretzels and special meatless meals each Friday. The Crock pot is my lifeline during the incredibly busy season of Lent so it makes my home smell delicious and gets our taste-buds ready for our tasty meals. Here is a short list of Lenten recipe ideas below:
Spaghetti Squash and Marinara
Three Bean Salad
Macaroni and Cheese
What are some of your go-to recipes? Do you prefer to cook out or go out? Are you active in the Knights of Columbus Spaghetti Dinners and Fish Frys? We are going to a Knights of Columbus Fish Fry this upcoming Friday!
Recommended: Gluten-Free Meatless Fiesta Rice
What other scents do you think of for the Lenten Season? I think there could be an argument for incense and essential oils as an important aspect of your Lenten experience as well. Frankincense is a great option. Maybe purchase some candles made by monks or nun to keep in your home during seasons on extra prayer!
Let’s also not forget the smells of Spring Cleaning! We use organic products in my home called Legacy of Clean and they smell amazing!
It is important to remember that Lent is what you make it. You can make it simple or as complicated as you like and just like anything else in life, you will get out of it what you put into it.
Happy Lent and God Bless!