And so Lent begins ...
If you follow my blog, then you know that seasons and traditions are a big part of my family's life. We honor and celebrate seasons (both natural and liturgical) and we include traditions (big and small) in our everyday life. Today being Ash Wednesday, we welcomed the season of Lent.
We received ashes at very early Mass, and then at home we made some ashes of our own. We just burned one of last year's palms (from Palm Sunday) until we had ash.
This sparked lots of good questions (a little impromptu science lesson in fact), and just for the record, I kept a very close eye on this and only I handled the matches. Also, I kept a cup of water within reach, and the windows were open to air out the room.
Next I cleared off the nature shelf and set up a simple Lent corner:
Here I have a jug filled with barren branches - but I added no water, lest they bloom too soon. I also set our Lent binder here, as well as a planter pot full of dirt (with a pinch of the palm ash), our rice bowl and a plain beeswax candle. The cross hanging on the wall is made of simple grapevine.
This is pretty much how this space will look all throughout Lent ... though the cross will start to "sprout" little bits of greenery (silk ivy leaves) as we move closer to Easter. On Palm Sunday we'll plant seed in the pot and I'll add water to the jug (with fresh branches if need be). During Holy Week we'll work on "dressing up" the candle for our Easter table.
And on Easter morning there will (hopefully) be blooms on the branches and new growth in the pot ... the candle will be gilded and the cross will look something like it does in this post. But as for the tradition of the "missing alleluia" well, this year it went well and truly missing on me!
Lol, I can't find that pretty little plaque anywhere, so I had to make up something else on the spot. I grabbed a plain cross shaped box from my craft supplies and I photocopied a page from one of the boys' song books.
I cut out the "alleluia" and placed it inside the box ...
Secured it all with twine ...
And we "buried" it in the back of a file folder drawer.
We do this because we do not say (or sing) "alleluia" at Mass until Lent is over. When we "resurrect" this tiny package on Easter morning, we'll find it all sparkly and fine, inside and out.
I also packed away the Winter books this morning, and set up EB's corner with good seasonal reads:
On the sill, and in the basket ...
(I'll update my sidebar booklists asap!)
Here's a craft basket I put together last weekend, filled with materials for making various projects throughout Lent ...
For this project I used 4x6 prints purchased from CHC several years ago, and I printed out station passages found at Domestic-Church.com. I adhered the images and words to folded ivory copy paper and fitted the pages inside sheet protectors. I really like how it came out, and my hope is that we'll take time each Friday afternoon to sit down and do the stations together.
And so Lent begins ...
A quiet and still season ... a time when we patiently await signs of new life. The journey can seem long, but these little traditions remind us where we're going, and keep us together on the path.
While we make fond family memories along the way!
Well, have a great day, my friends ... and thanks so much for stopping by. I'm going to sign off for now, but I will see you here again very soon...