Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Goodbye "Alleluia"

Today we enjoyed celebrating Mardi Gras and preparing for the beginning of Lent.

We sang lots of Alleluia songs and made Alleluia prayer cards. We had a festive and yummy pancake and sausage lunch!

Ray set the table (and took this picture) ---

Daddy is our resident pancake expert, but I took on the job today (with the help of my friend Aunt Jemima).

Mommy's special Mardi Gras ingredient: SPRINKLES!

Some masked Mardi Gras revelers ---

We had a great time celebrating Mardi Gras with our Bosco Boys Club in the afternoon. (Pictures and post coming soon.)

After dinner, we went down to the park to find a branch for our Lenten Jesus Tree. We came home and set up our prayer corner for Lent.

After working so hard to prepare it last year, it was great to be able to pull our our box of Jesus Tree ornaments and be ready to go!

Each day during Lent we will read a Bible story from Jesus' life and hang an ornament on the tree. We will also be praying the Stations of the Cross, making personal sacrifices, eating far fewer sweets and much more fish, and participating in the "40 Bags in 40 Days" challenge (in which we'll donate 40 bags of stuff from our house to people in need).

It's awesome to experience the liturgical year over and over again as a family. Each year the boys are able to enter more deeply into the sacred mysteries and celebrate them more fully. Each year Jon and I learn and grow right along with them.

This year I really wanted to teach the boys more about the ritual and symbolism of the ashes on Ash Wednesday. Before bedtime, we gathered around the fireplace and sang some final "Alleluias." Then we burned the several palm branches that we had from previous years. The palms are blessed and should not be thrown away. They are ritually burned each year and the ashes are used to remind us that "we are dust and to dust we shall return." We are going to put the ashes on our prayer table as holy reminders of this during Lent.

What started out as a prayerful learning experience became a bit crazy. (Jon was not home for this whole ash burning thing. He was working late.) When the palms began to burn, the boys were scared. The fire alarm went off and there was more smoke than I anticipated. We opened all the windows and were fine. But we'll definitely do this outside in the future. What started as a prayerful ritual ended up being a long conversation about fire safety and insurance. ;)

Best wishes to all of you for a fruitful and holy Lenten season.

1 comment:

  1. Love the pancakes, looks like you had a lot of fun!