“Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Source: Magnifikid! February 14, 2018 Vol. 15. Part 3. Section 4.
For Parents to Teach to their Children
February 14, 2018 is Ash Wednesday
The penitential season of Lent, 2018 begins with Ash Wednesday on February 14, where we hear,“For you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Catholics and other Christians receive the mark of the cross on their foreheads. We acknowledge that we have sinned and we strive to make amends, and promise to not repeat the sin. Lent lasts for “forty days and forty nights” remembering Jesus’ time of fasting, prayer and his triumphant confrontations with Satan in the wilderness. Prayer, Fast, and Give are our three obligations. We “abstain,” which means “do without,” from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays. We eat one full meal and two small snacks, as we are fasting. Many people chose to eat simple soup meals, or meatless meals throughout Lent. Children under fourteen and people who are sixty-years-old and up do not need to fast. However, they are instructed to observe the penitential season of Lent by abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays. We have six Sundays during Lent. On Sunday, in remembrance and celebration of the resurrection, we do not fast, but rather enjoy a lovely meal, complete with meat, if desired. Lent ends on Palm Sunday, March 25th.
Excellent Video on Lent
Encourage children preparing for First Reconciliation to practice reading the “Act of Contrition” out loud during Lent.
Prepare Your Child for Receiving the Sacrament of First Reconciliation Through Practice and Reading Together
“The Sacrament of Reconciliation”–An Excerpt from Magnifikid! February 14, 2018 Vol. 15. Part 3. Section 4. Page 4
“Why the Sacrament of Reconciliation?”
“God loves us no matter what. But sometimes we don’t love him back; we sin. Sins are choices against God’s law, against love. We can sin in out thoughts, words, or actions. Sin is like turning our back on God, or closing our hearts to others. Thankfully, God’s love is greater than sin. Jesus saved us from sin, and gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The priest takes the place of Christ as we tell him our sins and hear him grant us forgiveness.”
An Excellent Guide to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for Children
Child’s Guide to Reconciliation By Elizabeth Ficocelli, Illustrations By Anne Catherine Blake
I particularly like the Ten Commandments for young children that Ficocelli writes for children preparing for Reconciliation. They are age-appropriate for second and third graders, and mean something to the children as they are pertinent and relatable to their young lives. They will learn how to use the Ten Commandments as a guide for making an Examination of Conscience.
The Ten Commandments
- “Love God with all your heart.
- Use God’s name with respect and love.
- Keep Sundays special and holy.
- Love and obey your mother and father.
- Treat God’s creations kindly.
- Respect your body as a gift from God.
- Don’t take things that don’t belong to you.
- Always tell the truth.
- Don’t be jealous or greedy.
- Help others who are in need.”
Here is an excerpt from the book on page 5:
“To help us, God gave us a special set of rules called the Ten Commandments. These rules help us make good and loving choices and live a happy life.”
“The Sacrament of Reconciliation” from A Missal for Children has an excellent section on “Examination of Conscience” on page 88:
“Jesus loves you and will forgive you. So be joyful!” Page 88
There are three categories for the Examination of Conscience–The love of God, The love of others, and The love of self. Three examples for questions to think about are: “Do I sometimes choose to do what I feel like rather the will of God when I clearly see it?” “Have I set a bad example?” and “Have I been selfish? Have I refused to be helpful.”
The words, “contrition,” and “repent” or “repentance” are probably new to most young children. Contrition is the way we feel when we are truly sorry and want to “make amends” or repair the wrong that we have done. When we decide to stop the offensive behavior and to never do it again is called “repentance.”
“You understand that you have sinned and offended the Lord. Whatever your sins, you must promise to repent and not do them again.” Page 91
Second graders used pens and chalk to make these lovely drawings which feature crosses, a priest’s stole, and the color purple, signifying penance.
Please read “I Am the Bread of Life” in The Catholic Book of Bible Stories, pages 136-137 (John 6:22-70) (or in your own Catholic Children’s Bible, or directly from your family Bible.) Also, read page 139, “Faith to Grow” and “Prayer” as we learn more about Jesus, his sacrifice; and, Holy Communion; please also read “To Forgive or Not to Forgive” page 148-150, and “Faith to Grow” and “Prayer” on page 151.
Read “Growing in Faith Together” on page 34 of Believe Celebrate Live Reconciliation. Please do the assignment with your child on page 34:
“Think about and name what you can do this week that will build up, not hurt, your friendship with God and others. Do an act of kindness for your child and each person of the family.”
“Celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation! Receive the sacrament and tell your child why God’s mercy is something to be celebrated.”
Learn About Jesus Through the Mysteries of the Rosary
Over Lent, read the Bible passage of one of the Sorrowful Mysteries each Sunday. Help your child begin to name them.
The Sorrowful Mysteries (These are recited Tuesdays and Fridays)
- “THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN (Luke 22:43)
- THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR (John 19:1)
- THE CROWNING WITH THORNS (Matthew 27:28-29)
- THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS (Mark 15:22)
- THE CRUCIFIXION” (John 19:25-27)
Source: The Sorrowful Mysteries from Rosary-Center.org