Lent - Pray, Fast, Give
Quick Reminder about Lent
This short and simple video reminds us about the reason for the season of Lent.
It could be used as a seasonal reminder shown before Mass (or after).
The Stations of the Cross and Acts of Charity
The Season of Easter
What is a peacemaker?
You’ll need two large magnets and a large paper clip.
- Try to push together two like poles, make sure that everyone has a go and feels the rejection.
- Join the two like poles using a paper clip ‘peacemaker’.
- As a family talk about being peacemakers around the home, at school, at work. What actions can we take to make sure everyone is treated well?
- Some of the attitudes that we take to a situation will help create an environment where everyone is respected. These attitudes may be summarised:
- Good thoughts about everybody
- Do nothing to harm someone physically or by reputation
- Never gossip
- How else can you be a peacemaker?
The Sign of the Cross
The Sign of the Cross
We pray the Sign of the Cross regularly. As well as prayer it is a statement of our core belief regarding God and God’s love for us all.
This short video reminds us of how we pray this prayer using a catchy tune.
Pray with Mary
Learn this action version of the Hail Mary and pray it together as a family.
- Hail Mary, (Lift your right hand pointing to the sky.)
- full of grace, (Lift your left hand pointing to the sky.)
- the Lord is with you. (Bring your hands down folded near your heart.)
- Blessed are you among women, (Take your right hand and sweep it across your body pointing to all the girls in the group around you.)
- and blessed it the fruit of your womb, Jesus. (Pretend you are rocking a baby in your arms.)
- Holy Mary, (Lift your right hand pointing to the sky.)
- Mother of God, (Lift your left hand pointing to the sky.)
- pray for us sinners (Bring your hands down folded near your heart.)
- now (Point down to the ground with both hands.)
- and at the hour of our death. (Point to a pretend watch on your wrist.)
- Amen. (Bring your hands together folded near your heart.)
Write your own petition to Mary asking her to pray with you.
God's Love Surrounds Us
Create an Ojo de Dios
The “Ojo de Dios” or God’s Eye is an ancient symbol
- Two ice cream sticks.
- Wool in different colours.
- Scissors & glue
- Glue the sticks together in the shape of a cross
- Wrap the wool once around 1, once around 2, once around 3, once around 4. Always going in the same order around the sticks.
- Continue on… Once around 1, once around 2, etc until you’re happy with the first layer of the eye.
- Snip the first colour of yarn and tie on a second colour. Continue on with the second colour and then a third, fourth and fifth as desired.
Hang your Ojo de Dios in a prominent place to remind everybody that the loving eyes of God are upon you; that God cares for us.
Hands of Healing Love
Creating Hands of Healing Love
Each family member takes a piece of card and pen. Spreads their non-dominant (the hand they do not normally write with) out on the paper and traces around it.
On each of the five fingers the person writes one way that they can show God’s healing love to others.
Cut out the healing hand and place it in a place to remind you to bring God’s healing love to other people.
If the family knows someone (maybe an older person who has received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick ask them about the experience.
Set up a regular family check that the five ways of showing God’s healing love have been practised.
Bake Bread Together
- 500g strong wholewheat or white bread flour
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- Tip the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and mix together with your hands. Stir 300ml of hand-hot water with the oil and honey, then stir into the dry ingredients to make a soft dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins or until the dough no longer feels sticky, sprinkling with a little more flour if you need it.
- Oil the loaf tin and put the dough in the tin, pressing it in evenly. Put in a large plastic food bag and leave to rise for 1 hr or until the dough has risen to fill the tin and it no longer springs back when you press it with your finger.
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/. Make several slashes across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, then bake for 30-35 mins until the loaf is risen and golden. Tip it out onto a cooling rack and tap the base of the bread to check it is cooked. It should sound hollow.
- Leave to cool.
- Eat together with your favourite topping.
Eucharist means ‘thanksgiving’. As you eat your bread together consider and name all that you as a family are thankful for.
Examination of Conscience
When we are preparing children to celebrate Reconciliation for the first time, we teach them about examining their conscious.
One of the ways to get children thinking about their lives and the choices they make is to use the Our Father. They are familiar with the prayer and it’s petitions remind us of our responsibilities to make choices that are life-giving.
You can download an Examination of Conscience that uses the Our Father as its framework.
Popcorn - A Holy Spirit Story
Pop some popcorn, have some fun and investigate how the Holy Spirit is in action in the Church.
Look at a bowl of un-popped popcorn kernels. These are like a symbol for all of us as members of our faith community. We are created with beautiful potential inside of us. Our faith and our gifts dwell within in us from the moment we are conceived. When we follow God we can become something wonderful. Without God, we do not reach our full potential.
The bag/saucepan is the Church, a place where we are all invited by Christ
The salt and this butter are a symbol for the Sacraments. The Sacraments make us more flavourful and appealing, more Christ-like. When we participate in them, they give us the strength to continue sharing ourselves with others.
Make the popcorn. Notice how some of the kernels, like people, respond more quickly and that, when they are filled with the heat (like the Holy Spirit), all dance around, even sometimes moving the popper (like people move the Church).
When you are finished note that some of the kernels do not pop. They were in the same heat for the same length of time. That popcorn represents the people who do not respond to the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Which type of kernel do you want to be? As you snack on the popcorn reflect and share on how you want to allow the Spirit to work in your life.
Fruits of the Spirit
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a Christian life according to Paul in his Letter to the Galatians (5:22-23): “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
This set of cards can be used in a variety of ways.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a detailed explanation of what Catholics believe. It helps us to understand why as Catholics we do certain things. It is a big book and would take ages to read. So it is good to consider some engaging ways to explore it with your seekers. One suggestion is Catechism Roulette! Open your Catechism at random
- Place your finger on the page
- Read the paragraph it lands on.
- Discuss together how as individuals and a community this particular teaching point is lived out.
- What are we/I doing now?
- What are the possibilities into the future?
The other way to do it is to look up a particular question or topic e.g. why is the Our Father important?
This activity is from CathFamily website a great resource for family-faith building activities. It is worth subscribing to their weekly newsletter which is full of great ideas.