One area of emphasis in the Catholic Church is that the family is the nuclear church. The Church encourages homes to erect and pray at a family altar, for worship, not just at church. And parents, whether you homeschool or not, know that you are the primary educators of your children. Their religious education begins at home. At no time is this more important that in the Catholic Christian Lenten season. Lent is a deeply symbolic and spiritual journey but sometimes, life in a busy family gets so hectic that poof, another Lent is gone. Here are Catholic Christian crafts to reconnect family and faith. Make this homemade Lenten tablecloth Bible devotional for your family altar.
A major symbol of the Catholic Church is the image of a family gathered at table for a meal. Together, they partake of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord as He instructed them to at the Last Supper. Everyone from youngest to oldest appreciates a family meal. Food, dishes, seating, even the tablecloth has significance. You use different table linens to reflect the different seasons–summer is represented by sun and water and fun. Red and green decorate a Christmas, table When the table is set, people know that good things will come and they will be nourished.
A Catholic Lenten tablecloth makes perfect Lent crafts to reflect the Passion of Christ at Easter. Deep purple is the color of royalty, sorrow and the color of the priest’s Lenten vestments and altar linens. So use purple for all Lent crafts. Start with large rectangle of plain purple linen (or heavy muslin, cotton, canvas). Choose fabric that washes well. Cut it to the dimensions of your dining room table.fabric that washes well. It is best to prewash the fabric and iron it. Teach children (boys and girls) to sew, by having them take turns hemming edges with a zigzag stitch.
Ask each child to consider what image represents Lent for them. It’s okay to get really personal in your family altar and Bible devotional. It’s about shared memories, some possible sad. Children may choose a spiritual symbols like a cross, tears, rain, rocks, a desert, sun and beach, tree, praying hands, a bridge, the Eucharist, a cup or lamb. Have them come up with their own symbols and metaphorical images for the Lenten tablecloth. It’s fine to have more than one of the same. Children should draw or trace the image on paper. Use printable Lent crafts templates and Bible devotional images if kids feel uncomfortable drawing their own. Children may write a Bible verse. Have them sign and date Lent crafts. They’ll love seeing them come out each year.
Place cardboard under Lenten tablecloth and use permanent marker to trace images along edge of tablecloth. Bible devotional images may be repeated. Provide fabric paint to paint images. Paint with sponges or brushes. Let paint dry. For a toddler or baby’s image, a simple hand print is perfect. It’s not about decoration, but faith and devotion.
Place your Lenten tablecloth on the table on Ash Wednesday (February 10 for 2016) and keep it up until after the Easter Vigil. Set up a family altar on it. Serve meals, do lessons, play games and make Lent crafts. As you do, use images as a family Bible devotional and discussion tool. Set up your Day of the Dead family altar on it. Use for baptism days or name days. This Lenten tablecloth is meant to be used (wash in non-chlorine bleach when it gets dirty).