Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Lenten Season and the Five Senses


If you read my previous post on Ash Wednesday then you already know that I am feeling behind on my Lenten preparations. Today is the First Sunday of Lent and I have challenged myself to get my home and plans solidified by the end of the day. I am feeling pretty confident that I will have everything accomplished but I am trying not to count my chickens before they hatch too. It is time to dive into the Lenten Season head first and be engulfed by the beautiful simplicity and meaningful moments that can come from fully participating.

First things first. How do you create an atmosphere for Lent? With Decorations? Music? Changing up your Family Meal Plans? I dapple in each of these areas since I like to immerse my family in the season and I have a sensory child that enjoys and understands the concepts more with his environment being overtaken with sights, sounds, touches, scents and tastes. What could be better than finding a way to entice your senses while on your journey to a closer relationship to God. After all, he created us with these senses, he surely wants us to use them!

SIGHT



Let's start with the sense of sight. The breathtaking colors of Violet and Purple and the rustic accents of branches, thorns and wilderness really make Lent come to life. Simplicity is key. So far I have adorned our fireplace mantle with a DIY board I created of the Stations of the Cross and flame-less votive candles. The twinkling flames against our Stations as they each go out one by one as we pray the Stations on Fridays, create a nice prayerful ambiance. I also have plain branches in a vase that is tied with a violet ribbon on our dining room table and a beautiful picture that represents Lent to my family on display. I also tied a grapevine wreath with the same purple ribbon as the vase on our front door. Our home altar has been cleaned and looks very simple with a purple cover, crown of thorns, sacrifice bean jar, our operation rice bowl and a beautiful purple rosary I won in a giveaway hosted by Mrs. Andy Anchored by Faith. This is one of the areas I just completed today and I am feeling quite proud of the Lenten feel that is in my home.

SOUND


Sounds are a little more difficult for me to chose during this season. When I think of a prayerful place, I think of quite, which is not something you will find in our crazy little home. So to embrace both Lent and the crazy that is happening in my home at all times, I thought some nice background music would be good or some nice calm prayers. My children and I are huge fans of Holy Heroes line of audio CDs. They offer the Stations of the Cross, the Rosary and Glory Stories about the Saints! and I was also given a great review about Music for Children's Liturgy of the Word by Christopher Walker that I purchased to add to our collection. I would love to hear what you consider a "sound of the season" for Lent.

TOUCH


The most difficult sense for me to decide on is always Touch. To satisfy the sense of touch, I have collected a nice amount of coloring pages. Once again, I have to mention Holy Heroes. They offer a FREE Lenten Adventure that send you coloring pages, word searches, cross words and much more that is relevant to the season of Lent. I also would like you to check out Life, Love and Sacred Art for some great coloring pages. In addition to coloring, there are some great crafts to have readily available. Burying the "ALLELUIA" is one of my children's absolute favorite crafts. We will also be creating a Resurrection Garden that you start during Lent so it is in bloom for Easter. Making Sacrifice Beads, Rosaries and Lenten Trees are also some fun and simple crafts you could do as a family.

Books are another touch that would be great to dive into during Lent. Devotionals and stories that explain the Lenten season and some of the feast days we celebrate during the 40 days. I was struggling with a Lenten devotional I wanted to focus on since I had already read a Walk in Her Sandals, I knew I would reread that during Holy Week but I was stumped about what to do the rest of the season. I decided I would read Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation and Resisting Happiness both written by Matthew Kelly. I am excited about these National Best-Sellers because there are questions in each section that allow me to ponder what I have read and how it relates to me so I can write in my prayer journal.

TASTE


When I think of tastes, the first thing that comes to mind is food and drink! The whole premise of the Lenten season is simplicity so simple meals, snacks and drinks are what I consider to captivate my family's sense of taste. I love baking pretzels and special meatless meals each Friday. The Crock pot is my lifeline during the incredibly busy season of Lent so it makes my home smell delicious and gets our taste-buds ready for our tasty meals. Here is a short list of Lenten recipe ideas below:

Shrimp Pasta
Shrimp Tacos
Tuna Sandwich
Vegetable Soups
Simple Salads
Spaghetti Squash and Marinara
Fruit Salad
Three Bean Salad
Homemade Pretzels
Macaroni and Cheese
Breakfast Bread

What are some of your go-to recipes? Do you prefer to cook out or go out? Are you active in the Knights of Columbus Spaghetti Dinners and Fish Frys? We are going to a Knights of Columbus Fish Fry this upcoming Friday!

Scents


What other scents do you think of for the Lenten Season? I think there could be an argument for incense and essential oils as an important aspect of your Lenten experience as well. Frankincense is a great option. Maybe purchase some candles made by monks or nun to keep in your home during seasons on extra prayer!

Let's also not forget the smells of Spring Cleaning! We use organic products in my home called Legacy of Clean and they smell amazing!


Still need more ideas to tingle your senses? Check out the CWBN Blog Hop! So many wonderful ideas and suggestions to bring the full season of Lent to your families with sacrifice, prayers and alms-giving.

It is important to remember that Lent is what you make it. You can make it simple or as complicated as you like and just like anything else in life, you will get out of it what you put into it.

Happy Lent and God Bless!

6 comments:

  1. I love how you tackled the 5 senses! Such a great idea... They say that some of our core memories are best formed through our taste or smell - so, by tackling those with these ideas, you are also ensuring your sons will have some memory for this special, penitential season as they grow older! Awesome idea!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so important, and completely in line with the way the Church has always emphasized our humanity in its celebrations. Incense, bells, the Eucharist - they aren't just trappings, but physical reminders of an abstract faith. Great post with beautiful ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a cool post! This would be a great way to reflect on all the liturgical seasons of the year.

    ReplyDelete