Our Lent So Far…

Come Follow MeComedy hour (not really a full hour) has become the time I sit down with the kids and read, Come Follow Me by Abouna Justin Rose. This is a book I have decided to read to the older kids for Lent. There isn’t a funnier time of the day in my house (and that’s saying a lot)! During this time I have learned a few things while sitting down and catechizing the oldest kids (ages 7, 8, 10, 11, & 18).

  • First: I need to pay more attention to what Magdalena (10) tells her younger siblings about Church and God. My little character of a daughter has told her siblings some hilarious stuff. For example, in Come Follow Me, Abouna Justin describes the Holy Trinity as being in an eternal dance with one another. I followed this up by asking the kids if they recall how the priests takes the newly baptized baby, the parents and godparents, and places his epitrachelion (stole) on the baby while leading everyone in a “dance” around the baptismal font. I explained this symbolized the newly baptized Christian entering into the life of the Holy Trinity—into the dance of salvation. I mentioned this dance is repeated during the marriage ceremony, and ordination to the diaconate, and priesthood. So the kids knew which part of the ceremony I was talking about and thought the explanation was “cool” but Viviana (8) gets this look of amazing understanding on her face and says, “Oh! That’s what the dance is all about! Magdalena told me it was the Conga!” Oh boy did we all have a good laugh about that one, and the-I’ve been caught- look on Lena’s face was priceless!

 

  • Second: Kids like being challenged. Something I already knew, but reading the book together has reinforced this for me. The book was written for use in a parish setting with adults in mind. We have used it before with a group of friends and I recommend it. You can read about it here. I decided to use it for my family for a few reasons. First, I know the material already and knew each lesson was relatively short. Second, I needed something that I could use for all of my older children, I wanted us to have something to study together for Lent. Scarlett is 18 and needs something suited for her age, this book is good for that. I knew the text would challenge Diego (11) and Lena (10). I also figured Vivi (8) and Marina (7) would learn something no matter what and I could explain as we went along. So far so good, the book is working out great. And because explanation is needed for the younger children as we go along this provides comic relief by way of hilarious questions and answers! One time we were discussing the Eucharist and Vivi suddenly got this funny look on her face and shouts out, “Wait a minute, which part exactly of Jesus’ body are we eating in communion?!” Oh this conversation went on and Lucas (5) turned it into quite a funny moment with all of his faces and comments…I’m sure ya’ll can imagine!

 

  • Third: When children grow up they remember everything and are eager to share! I have really enjoyed seeing my oldest Scarlett (18) be excited to explain things to her siblings. She remembers so many saint stories, and lessons I would teach her when she was younger and has been eager to explain to her siblings these things herself. Doing this study as a family has been a good idea.
Kids working on their Great Lent Countdown

Kids working on their Great Lent Countdown

We’ve been sick for most of Lent. The first week we made it to a few services and that has been it. A couple of kids started out sick, then me, and then the whole family. It’s been pretty miserable around here. Like I said in a previous post, it’s a good thing Lent isn’t up to me and any of my efforts! But still, much to be grateful for, things can always be worse. We did manage to make this painting before we all got sick. I’m not a crafty mom, and rarely make religious crafts but the kid’s nina (godmother) sent me a pin of this. There is a stone for each day of Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha and we labeled each Sunday by name. The kids liked making it and are enjoying checking where we are in the countdown to Pascha!

Vivi, Marina, and Lena

Vivi, Marina, and Lena

Diego with the painting in place.

Diego with the painting in place.

We also put a Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving board together (using a tri-fold cardboard). On it is the praying routine we are striving after, the things we want to learn and read this Lent, the meal and snack plan I made (it helps when they know what’s coming!) and reminders to do at least one secret spy deed for someone else, and to speak and be kinder to one another. We added some pics of a group we hope to help out with our savings from fasting. I called it the Archuleta Family Great Lent Game Plan. The kids helped put it together, decorated it, and like having a “game plan”. Since we’ve been sick we haven’t managed a lot of our plans but that’s okay, the plan is waiting for us once we are back to normal.

 

Hope ya’ll are having a blessed Lent!

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. I miss Abouna Justin and our CA parish so much. He was instrumental in the lives of my older sons, and for both me and my husband. He guided my husband through the deaconate and helped form us into zealous Melkites; we are so blessed to have had him in our lives. He wrote this book while practicing on us! It was a lot of fun and we grew so much. I love that you’re using it with your family. What a blessing!

    • Jessica Archuleta says:

      I can imagine how much you miss your old parish. We miss all of our old friends from church so much! Moving is so hard. We can look forward to heaven where we will all be together in an eternal Pascha celebration!

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