Fat Tuesday’s Lenten Preparation

In my house, lingering over dessert together brings a good opportunity to prepare as a family for Lent which begins the next day.  We focus on the categories of prayer, fasting and alms giving.  Each person picks something individual for prayer and fasting but our alms giving is usually communal.  Then we also try to do something in the prayer category as a family around mealtime or bedtime.  Here are some ideas:


  • read a devotional book together everyday
  • commit to 5-15 minutes of meditation each morning or evening
  • go to Mass one extra time per week
  • do the daily readings (found on usccb.org)
  • devour a book about a saint, personal growth or theology
  • pray through a book of the bible
  • pray the rosary everyday
  • petition for the people in your life
  • sing a praise song together for mealtime grace
  • recite scripture together at dinner, bedtime, before driving or first thing in the am
  • make a weekly date with the Lord to spend an hour talking, resting, listening
  • learn the sign of the cross, our father, hail mary, glory be
  • practice the examen
  • sign up for a Lenten podcast or e-mail reflection


  • complaining
  • being resistant to others
  • messiness
  • whining
  • tv
  • screen time after 8p
  • video games
  • gum
  • sugar
  • white flour
  • snacking
  • sweets
  • fast from the burden of sin by going to confession a few times

Alms Giving

  • shovel snow for neighbors
  • make food for an elderly person
  • volunteer for Feed My Starving Children
  • volunteer in the class room
  • pick up trash in your neighborhood
  • do chores around the house for money that you donate to a homeless shelter
  • write notes to relatives who are far
  • spend time with relatives who are near
  • visit a nursing home
  • draw pictures for elderly, military, homeless
  • create a project Linus Blanket
  • make a care package for kids in the hospital
  • learn about kids in poverty around the world

I’d love to hear what you are doing for Lent!  Post some ideas below if you wish.

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