Note: This post originally published last year during Lent, and I’m updating it just a tad and republishing. I’ve seen a few “how to pray the Stations with your children” posts floating around social media lately, and I simply want to share something that works well in our home.
Our daughter Lucy is now five-and-a-half years; Jude man is now two. I decorated the mantle with our at-home stations once again this Lent, and the kids are rather naturally attracted to know what’s being illustrated on the photos. We have the book The Stations of the Cross by Fr. Lovasik. It’s not the freshest nor the flashiest, but my two older kids respond to it very well. I guess I’m rather impressed at how they follow along as I light each candle and pray with each station.
It’s simple. It’s attractive. It involves FIRE. The kids have something to keep their hands and minds occupied while the parents pray. Hey, it’s working for us!
Living the Liturgical Year: Lent
My mission as of late was to figure out once and for all how to decorate the mantle during Lent. In other words, I’ve spent way too much time on Pinterest in search of ideas to beg, borrow, and steal. ‘Twas not all for naught — one idea here, another idea there, and voilà: a Stations of the Cross suitable for the home mantle.
Several bloggers offer free printable Station cards. Given our printer is on the fritz, I headed over to the local Catholic book store and purchased The Challenge of the Cross: Praying the Stations by Alfred McBride. I adhered the pictures to fat eighths fabric pieces and each station is kept in place with a party votive accessorized with a simple purple ribbon.
At Jude’s Baptism last year, a friend gifted me the book A Way of the Cross for Mothers by J. Katherine Reilly. While the reflections and prayers in this book can be used for private contemplations, it’s especially designed for moms to gather communally and pray the Way of the Cross together. What a blessing to slow down a little and give some extra time to God with a few sisters in Christ.
My Lenten weekly challenge: invite a few moms over to pray the Way of the Cross together using the PRETTY Stations while all our kiddos nap, nurse, and/or play. Now that will make me happy!
This is what the Das Schmidt Haus kids were up to while I crafted. Can you see why I don’t do this often?
For the record, I didn’t allow the kids to shred the paper, and I unplug the shredder when it’s not in use.
Question: when you pray the Stations of the Cross, do you contemplate on fourteen or fifteen scenes? As I understand it, a fifteenth station, “Jesus Rises from the Dead,” is now often added to celebrate the full reality of Jesus’ saving work in his death and resurrection. I am more accustomed to praying fourteen Stations, but McBride includes the fifteenth station in his book. I appreciate the extra station as the whole of the Christian faith rests on the question: “Did Jesus rise?” Seems if we exclude this station, we exclude the reality of Jesus’ saving work. Or should allow Good Friday to have the main stage for a few more weeks? What say you?
Do you decorate your home during Lent? If so, let’s see and hear about your handiwork! Feel free to share links to blog posts/Pinterest pins, etc. in the comment box below.