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Lenten family blessings – a six week guide for family devotions

7 March 2011 No Comment

Many families these days find it difficult to sit together at the dining table for a meal; there are television shows to watch, mum or dad might have to work late, the children have commitments, things are busy. Why not during Lent make the commitment to have one meal together at the dining table each week.

During this time talk together as a family of your concerns, things you are thankful for and things you want to praise God for. Perhaps you might like to use the following liturgy:

Materials: Bowl for the center of the dining table, tea light candle for each member of the family.

You might like to change your leader each week and let each member of the family have a go at reading the passage.

A Time for Togetherness

Week 1.

As a family talk about things that are important in your lives, what would be difficult to do without? Electricity? Gas? Flour? What things could you give up that would make a difference in your lives? What could you give up that would save money that you could contribute to the lives of others?

If you choose to, decide as a family on what you might give up for Lent, you might decide individually OR you might as a family decide to give up something together.

Leader: Together we gather to share a meal, just as Jesus did with his friends and followers before he died. Together we gather around this bowl, an empty space that we will fill with our gifts over the next 40 days. Tonight we each light a candle and commit ourselves to giving up ____ over this time of Lent. Help us in this pledge. Amen.

Each member of the family might like to light a candle and put it in a ring around the bowl.

Week 2.

Talk about how you are going with what you have given up – is it more difficult than you thought, how does it feel. Place the amount of money that you think your giving-up raised in the bowl and reflect on how this money might help others. Who would you choose to help? People in your town struggling or people in Africa struggling?

Leader: Together we gather to share a meal, just as Jesus did with his friends and followers before he died. Together we gather around this bowl, which holds our gifts for your people this week. We pray that this money will help others… (members of the family might like to pray for people around the world or at home who need help, lighting a candle as they do so).

Tonight we each light a candle and commit ourselves to giving up ____ over this time of Lent. Help us in this pledge. Amen.

Week 3.

Read Psalm 95 together, verse by verse and talk about what the words mean to you as you eat your meal. Do they make you think of poems, books, songs you have heard? Place the money that you have raised this week in the bowl.

Leader: Together we gather to share a meal, just as Jesus did with his friends and followers before he died. Together we gather around this bowl, which holds our gifts for your people this week.

We pray that this money will help others, and that through our giving they might sing and make a joyful noise to God. That they will come into your presence and know you. We commit ourselves to giving up ____ over this time of Lent. Help us in this pledge. Amen.

Week 4.

The Psalm reading this week is a well known reading, Psalm 23. As a family read this together and reflect on what the images mean to you. Let the children talk about what they think and feel when they read the words.

Leader: Together we gather to share a meal, just as Jesus did with his friends and followers before he died. Together we gather around this bowl, which holds our gifts for your people this week. We pray that this money will help others, and that through our giving they might know you as their Shepherd. We commit ourselves to giving up ____ over this time of Lent. Help us in this pledge. Amen.

Week 5.

All that has been given up is nearing the end. How has it felt to give up something as a family and to gather together intentionally each week to have some faith time? What have been the positives and what have been the negatives? How do you think your efforts will have helped others?

Leader: Together we gather to share a meal, just as Jesus did with his friends and followers before he died. Together we gather around this bowl, which holds our gifts for your people. We thank you for this opportunity to give to others, to make their lives a little easier by our giving. Help us to continue to give in your name and to think of others in our everyday. Amen.

Week 6 – Holy Week.

Talk together about the things that you love about your family, what you like about each other and why. Talk about ways that you can work together to share in family time in the following months and enjoy each others company. What is special about your family?

Leader: Together we gather to share a meal, as a family that laughs together, shares together and loves each other. We thank you for our family and for the experiences that we have shared throughout Lent. Help us to continue to listen to each other, to think of others and to share. Amen.

*any of the ‘Leader’ statements above can be changed, reworded, etc… use as you see fits your family best.

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