A Liturgy for Families with Kids for Lent

Following the same guidelines as my earlier work for Advent, I’ve put together a slightly expanded form of the brief services found on pages 139ff of the Book of Common Prayer as a Lenten prayer practice that the whole family can do together. (And for those new to this blog, I do this with my kids, one 5 and a half, the other just turning 3—so they’re totally doable by pre-schoolers.)

Again, it’s on two pages that can be printed out front to back and laminated. Lamination is important if you use it like we do—we use the morning prayer side during breakfast and would like to start doing the evenbing prayer side as dinner ends. Therefore it’s near the table and for a sheet of paper in our house to survive being near the table at mealtimes lamination is essential…

What I’ve done is taken the outline from the BCP and:

  • Changed the Scripture sentence. In the Advent trial piece I posted I used the Little Chapter from Lauds and Vespers of the Roman Breviary. I changed my mind for this one and instead selected two of the sentences from the Opening Sentences for Lent from Morning Prayer.
  • Introduced an Optional Observance. In our family we use this space after the Scripture Sentence as an opportunity to help the girls learn a part of the Mass liturgy. You’ll note that here it’s the Decalogue—same as in the Advent one. Well, there’s a reason for that—they’re both penitential seasons! As we started this whole experiment in Ordinary Time last year we started with the Nicene Creed and now Lil’ G has it fully memorized and says it along with us at church; not bad for 5 and a half…
  • With Two Options. The other option is one of the traditional hymns for the season of Lent in Father John-Julian’s translation. My only concern here is that the square notation may cause some families to balk at using this option, simply because square-note is unfamiliar. I’m still considering the best way to handle this.

So, without further ado, here’s the file: episcopal-family-brief-breviary-lent

Feel free to spread it around, stick it in a tract-rack at church, give it to your Sunday School coordinator, whatever.

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