Family Devotional for Lent

Since today is the first day of Lent, I got out our book, Family Celebrations at Easter, by Ann Hibbard.  I highly recommend this book, as it appeals to many ages and more than one learning style, and focuses on the gospel.

Each devotional begins with a short present-day story or situation, then moves to a Bible reading (not very long) pertaining to Lent.  Then come discussion questions, and I usually start with the youngest child and work my way around the table of kids, asking the provided questions and making up a few of my own.  I can quickly think of easy questions for the younger kids, and the more thought-provoking questions often launch my older kids into a meaningful discussion of the topic at hand.

The devotional ends with a short prayer and a suggested hymn, and then instructions about which symbol* to hang on our Lent tree.  The kids have fun guessing which symbol it is, based on that day’s reading.

*We copied the symbols (from the back of the book) a few years ago onto card stock, cut them out, colored them, and tied pretty yarn to each of them.  Also, we don’t have a tree; one year we just tied the symbols to a crocheted string hung across our fireplace mantel.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Karen Butler on February 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I am a homeschooling mom of eight and have so enjoyed reading through your archives –I came from your husband’s blog via Challies. I have been refreshed and encouraged and renewed in purposeful diligence, and especially blessed to hear you all sing John 14. We are not crew of singers, so I was in awe… we can only achieve cacophony when we sing “Happy Birthday”, but I’ll bet you are all doing three part harmonies as you bring the cake in.

    I love Hibbard’s “Family Celebrations at Christmas”, and it is one of our treasured traditions, and I write about here: I usually cobble together my own symbols for the season approaching Easter, but maybe I’ll spring for her book on Easter, too. She used to have a banner for Easter, called the “Road to Jerusalem” with a pathway marked on it. Is it a Jesse tree now, in this latest incarnation of her book?

    We don’t do “Lent” exactly — the ‘giving up for’ thing, because as a former Catholic, I’m uncomfortable with the legalism that can surround all that. But I do enjoy our special Easter devotionals.Thank you again, for reminding me it is time to begin my Easter preparations now.


    • Thank you for your comments, Karen! We also have the Christmas book, as well as her birthday/vacation/other book. I like them all, and wish I were a little more diligent to use them!

      I did not know about the “Road to Jerusalem”; it sounds interesting. My book has us using an Easter tree, although we have found that we like to hang the symbols up on a string across our fireplace. This book also explains how to celebrate Passover, which my family looks forward to every spring!

      Blessings on your Lent season!


      • Posted by Karen Butler on March 26, 2013 at 3:35 pm

        I want to thank you so much for spurring me on to make my own Easter Banner this year. It has been on the bucket list for forever. Hibbard calls it “the Road to Calvary” (not Jerusalem) and I have adapted her idea to our own traditions. We have always read Jan Pienkowski ‘s, “Easter” book here it is to read for free online during Easter

        Pienkowski uses the King James version of the text, and I find the black silhouettes he uses for the story very moving. Stark and dramatic, and fitting. So everyday we read a part of the story, and then the kids have to go find the “Resurrection Egg” I have hidden in some room of the house, and the one who finds it must tell me back the story the object points to. I sometimes find my own object to put into the egg, if the Family Life ones don’t have it. Like yesterday, the towel Jesus used to dry the disciple’s feet, and today the rooster that crowed, exposing Peter’s betrayal.

        So this year, we will have a place to display those objects — yay! The kids put them into pockets– the pockets look like little tombs– I’ve made on the road, that also display corrsponding pictures from Pienkowski’s text. I used to have a Jesse tree, that displayed very pretty Easter eggs filled with the object lessons, but it seemed too frivolous for the seriousness of the subject.

        Anyway, this is a long thank you for spurring me on to this endeavor. I found the whole project immensely satisfying. I had forgotten how much fun working with my hands to solve a creative problem can be.

      • Those are great ideas; I’ll be looking at your comment again next spring and trying some of them! Thanks!

        Sent from my iPad

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