40 Days of Lent Cross Activity
40 days of prayers, sacrifice and little acts of love for Jesus!
Though our family has certain sacrifices, prayers, and practices we do together, we are using this activity with my two youngest children as a way for them to also make their own sacrifices and offer their own acts of love and prayer during Lent:
A cross with 40 squares…
and small images to represent our prayers, sacrifices and other actions
Using this template…
We printed our crosses… (optional: you may want to print it on cardstock or cut it out and attach it to a piece of cardboard )
And we chose to cut the symbols in strips, so that each day, the child can easily cut just one image that represents his Lenten action for the day and glue it to the cross.
We started in the lower right hand corner of our cross, and will work our way around the cross, ending again at the foot of cross on Good Friday…
The symbols we used for the activity are praying hands, a crucifix, a heart with a cross inside, a Bible, the Blessed Mother, and a monstrance.
You will need to tailor suggestions for each image to the age and abilities of your child, but here are some initial ideas for each:
praying hands– any extra prayer the child chooses to pray, memorize a new prayer, pray for the priests you know or for those who have no one to pray for them, pray the Prayer Before a Crucifix, ejaculation (shorter prayer) that focuses on Jesus, such as O Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us, etc.
crucifix– make a sacrifice- such as giving up a snack or sleeping without a pillow, venerate the cross, pray the Stations of the Cross (a young child can spend time looking at the Stations of the Cross booklet or the stations at your church), look at the crucifix and thank Jesus for His sacrifice, pray the Prayer Before a Crucifix, an aspiration such as We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You; because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world, etc.
heart with cross– do little acts of love/charity out of love for Jesus. Some suggestions: do a chore for Mom or Dad without being asked, set the table, take out the trash, sweep the floor, etc., share a snack or toy with someone, light a candle at church for someone who needs prayers, put money in the basket or poor box at church, call or write someone a letter, perhaps a relative or friend who is alone or sick,
Bible– read a story from the Bible, memorize a Bible verse, read a book about a saint, etc.
Mary– sing a hymn, such as Stabat Mater or other Marian hymn, pray for the Blessed Mother’s intercession for you, your family or someone else who needs prayers, pray 3 Hail Marys for the Pope’s intentions, color a picture of the 4th station, etc.
monstrance– go to Adoration with your family, spend some extra time in prayer after Mass thanking Jesus for His sacrifice for us or if the child is old enough for Holy Communion, stop by a church to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, recite O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving,
Be every moment Thine, etc.
Again, these are just a few suggestions. You and your child will think of many others appropriate to his/her age.
We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You; because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world