Many people ask why we celebrate Ash Wednesday as well as many of the other holidays. We really value investing the time and energy into the children by teaching the meaning behind all of the liturgical holidays. It is a great way of integrating our faith into our every day lives. We spend time as a family during the Lenten season in a time of service, self-sacrifice, repentance and remembering the redemption through the cross.
Symbolism of the ashes
- Death comes to everyone
- We should be sad for our sins
- God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God humans are nothing more than dust and ashes
- Symbolize the way Christ's sacrifice on the cross was an atonement for sin and replaces the Old Testament tradition of burnt offerings.
"Turn away from sin and believe the Gospel. Remember you are dust unto dust you shall return".
We do a devotional service on Ash Wednesday, that incudes discussing the meaning of Lent. Talking about ways to sacrifice our needs for the needs of others. As well as alms giving. Each year during Lent we make a small financial sacrfice in an effort to give back. This year we are saving change (something the kids can relate to) to help send our dear friend Megan to Ethiopia to work with orphans.
Here is some information on Lent. I have pages and pages on it, but I thought that I would steal Beth Lambdin's description :) http://www.bethlambdin.net/
"In most Christian denominations, Lent is the forty-day liturgical season of fasting and prayer before Easter. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the desert, where according to the Bible, he endurede temptation by Satan.
The purpose of Lent is preparation of the believer-through prayer, repentance, alms giving and sacrifice-for the observation of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus as celebrated during Holy Week.
Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday. The six Sundays in Lent are not counted among the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini Easter", a celebration of Jesus' victory of sin and death."
The color of Lent is purple, a sign of penanace and prayer.
We eat pretzels on Wednesday's during lent as the the tradition of monks many years ago first made them to remind others to pray during this time. A fun tangible way for the kids to learn about prayer and how it ipacts our daily lives.