25 things for your kids to spot during Palm Sunday and Triduum

Technically, Triduum spans three days—from the evening of Holy Thursday until the evening of Easter Sunday—but liturgically, it is “one day,” one long celebration of the Paschal Mystery. Triduum culminates in the Easter Vigil, which is the high point of the entire liturgical year. As with the Sunday liturgy, reviewing what will happen at the liturgy in advance is a good way to help your kids participate with understanding and reverence. Online, you’ll find lists to review and give your kids a heads up before going to church—and challenge them to notice each item during the service.

St. Patrick’s Day: Joy during Lent

It sticks out like a sore, green thumb in the middle of a sober liturgical period. As a lifelong Catholic — and a lifelong Irishman — I struggle with squaring my prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial with a holiday (one of my favorites) whose excesses include dying an entire river green. When I’m supposed to be fasting and giving things up and attending penance services, along comes this holiday — this feast day — that contradicts the whole Lenten vibe with its parades and corned beef. Find more about Saint Patrick online.

5 Lent fasts that benefit God’s creation

Catholic dad Ryan Langr writes: What to give up for Lent is one of the hardest decisions I have to make all year (yes, I’m spoiled). One of the reasons I fret so much about it is that I wonder how meaningful or how difficult the penance would actually be. While a Lenten penance is really only required to change your heart, having something that can affect others or the world is a definite bonus (and often much harder). One of my biggest concerns lately has been global warming and the state of our environment, and indeed Pope Francis thinks this is a huge issue as well. So we recycle, drive fuel-efficient cars, and try not to use so much heat or AC. So this Lent, if you want some extreme fasting and penance with an eco-friendly bonus, check out the following five suggestions about what to give up for Lent. They may be hard, but they’re to change your heart . . . and model care for God’s creation for your kids! You’ll find ideas online.

How to teach about Lenten sacrifice

An important lesson of Lent is sacrifice. So often, this lesson is lost in the cacophony of our consumer world. Sacrifice is not easy. It’s more than giving up a bad habit. It’s about recognizing what distracts you and surrendering that yearning for what you think you want. Sacrifice can be emotionally painful and demands commitment. But doing something difficult helps us understand ourselves in a deeper, more meaningful way. How do we parents find a way back to the lesson of sacrifice? How do we instill the importance of this message when we are bombarded daily with the counter message of consumption and instant gratification? Visit us online for some help in how to explain sacrifice to your Catholic kids.