As we enter into the Triduum, so many questions might come to mind. What do I give up? What is God asking of me? What can I do to form my family? How can I teach my kids about Lent? All these thoughts come rushing into our minds, but only one thing matters.
That our hearts belong to God.
…and that we truly live out some form of penance. He wants our heart and our little sacrifices!
A good way of giving our heart is by making time to pray The Way of the Cross as a family. It is a Christian tradition that enables us to enter into the most painful moments Jesus passed through before he died. So how can we do this as a family and have everybody attentive and involved?
If your children are young it can be a good idea to print out coloring sheets of the stations and they can color them leading up to when you want to do the stations with them. You can place them across a wall or around the house however you would like and tell them to make a small offering to Him each time you do a station. Instead of making them do all 14 stations in one sitting you could do four or five a day beginning with:
Announcing the Station.
Picking a Leader that says: We adore you, O Christ, and bless you.
Everyone else responds: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Then the leader will read some words to help each person reflect on the current station.
As the leader or the entire family processes from one image of the station to the next, an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be can be prayed. You could sing instead of reciting the prayers between stations. Or the prayers and songs may be skipped altogether in place of time for quiet personal reflection.
If the family has older children a nice idea is to go to your parish together on Good Friday and do the stations of the cross station by station each taking turns reading and reciting the prayers; all while keeping an atmosphere of fostering silence to reflect on Jesus’ final moments.
If you don't already have a Way of the Cross that you use and love, we recommend St. Josemaria's. You can find the book version as well as a smaller pamphlet version of his Way of the Cross at Scepter Publishers.